Sunday, November 28, 2010

it's not a toyota, it's a car

i have come to understand the major issue of my paper to be this. i was making too many fine distinctions in a realm where i need to merely make an argument. i was sorting sand from grains of rice but that was not the task set before me. now, i have to figure out how to meet criteria i'm not entirely sure of and the only thing i can come up with is, go big. it's not in the minutia, it's in the broader scheme of things. i tend to focus in too closely. hell, i made keats and oliver talk about obe's. my argument was too pointed. i need to broaden the expanse without generalizing. what i've come to understand this to be is, i was making the distinction, it's a toyota camry. when all i really needed to say was it's a car. no one really cares that it's a camry. that's my nuance. they care only that i make a solid case for it being a car.

four wheels, an engine, headlights, gas pedal. = car.

i have spent the better part of the last four days mourning my paper as was. i think i'm ready to let it go, to launch it out into the proverbial sea in a bottle, in hopes of actually passing this semester. this program has always been wrong for me, i chose to stick it out because i want an mfa degree, for no reason other. they are not teaching me anything here that i will necessarily directly benefit from. because i'm not that kind of writer. i'm an entirely different species of writer.

what i need to do is get my style of writing, my method, or process, out there. perhaps it will help other artists. perhaps not, but it is what i am coming to understand. the degree is not the definition of anything other than a certain set of criteria. adhere to those standards, be gradable, then you can move on. you don't have to be brilliant, you don't even have to say anything original, just meet criteria.

i object to this approach with all my being, but i have a child to support. i want certain doors to open that i believe an mfa is the key to. first i must obtain the key. this path chose me in the way my life unfolds, so i have tried my best to reconcile it. to understand what exactly i'm supposed to take away from this experience aside from frustration. i'm still at a loss to answer that. the best thing has been the one solid connection i've made. i would do it all again for that because that is what matters to me. connection.

so, i have a week to try to say, it's a car not a camry in a way that is passable. i'm groping around blind here, but i think i've got it figured out. i didn't think it was supposed to be this way, that it would come to me grappling around in the dirt again saying,
i won't let you go until you bless me.

but here i am, arthritic hip, bent wings, very worn out. but still struggling for the blessing.

i have a child to support. i will do what it takes.

its also a car, i must remind myself of that. because while i believe with all my heart that the camry is first a camry, it is also always first a car.

i can do this.

i will do this.

i have a child to support.

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