Tuesday, September 01, 2015


Writing night. I'm chipping away at a song, even though I know the chances of breaking it open tonight aren't great. I know it will be an acoustic song, and I know it won't be exactly upbeat in tone. The rest, however is still cloudy...and I know I will have to live with the uncertainty at least another week.

The semester is under way, and I've just reached the time where the students are getting to know what's at stake. They are, however, a few weeks from insight. They will, for the next few class sessions, have a lot thrown at them, and it's still unclear if they will sink or swim. Meanwhile, while they circle around the uncertainty, I begin my own cycle of seemingly endless grading.

This is usually how things go. One of the hallmarks of my younger days was that I expected stuff to build to some grand conclusion...the search for ultimate meaning and all that. Now? I don't expect any real resolution, just one damn thing after another. And when we do get closure? It will be way too ultimate, way too final, and, most likely, won't be something to which we should look forward. Certainty is too close to being an end.

I believe this, I really do. But every so often, I get reminded that being certain of uncertainty is itself too definitive...and then I really don't know what to do.

Today, while I was getting ready for work and getting my daughter ready for day care, she turned to me and sweetly asked, "Daddy, are people permanent?" When I asked her what she said, I got "are people permanent? Do they break, or do they go on forever?"

This hit me, but I realized I couldn't let it stop me in my tracks. So I gently replied, "I don't know, sweetie. I hope they go on, but I don't really know." Surprisingly, this answer seemed to satisfy her, and she moved onto other things.

I wish I could tell her how much I envied her in this.

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