Thursday, February 02, 2006


here i am again, wondering what could possibly come of this. standing at a place where one would think i could proceed with some certainty, but finding none. only more shadow.

it occurred to me, last night as i drove home, that once the summit is reached, the long descent begins afresh. sure the thrill of having arrived at a destination is in your heart, but the journey down is perilous. bragging rights only benefit those who survive the descent.

i do not want readers to come to me and leave without having reckoned with some truth.

i had a professor who once told me she dreamt of a great bull she was fighting (she was determining whether to accept my freeverse paper--ala langston hughes--or to require the term paper i had set out to write). i had earned an A in that class, without doubt. but this last requirement was our point of reckoning.

i would have taken a B, it would have hurt, but my point was that important to me. my term paper was to be on native symbolism and it felt like too much of an imposition on the culture for me to complete what i had begun. so i opted out. and she began dreaming. battling.

her boss told her, give this student an F on this paper. thereby sealing my fate.

i presented the professor with some smudging sage i had wrapped in the mountains. there was a particular rock jutting out from the stream and i could perch upon it and wrap sage to my heart's content. (a strange thing happened once, a naked man appeared out of the bushes with only a cowboy hat over him. i looked up at him and shook my head and pressed on. he disappeared again into the bushes. very odd indeed).

i had no answers for her. it was her battle to fight. i had earned that A although i could not show a term paper for her to check the box saying i had yielded or succumbed.

i got an A in that course, but it was not without much grief on my part and the professor's. i will always think well of her, not because of the A, but because she didn't let the absence of a particular form stop her. she reckoned with me as a living soul.

i do not know why the episodes of my life are epic struggles (or feel that way to me and those rolling around in the dust with me), but i trust most especially those who will reckon with me. who will not roll over and expose the soft white underbelly, but who will lock horns with me and fight.

i like a good fight. i try to keep from fisticuffs, but i do like a good fight.

No comments: