Anticipation: Contemplating the Upcoming Semester

Up until this point, my writing had been rooted in fertile but decidedly uneven emotional ground, and now I began to tap intellectual sources instead. No, that implicit split between ardor and intellect is the very opposite of what I mean: ideas now erupted into and became indistinguishable from my emotional and even my corporeal life. I could feel them in my flesh, quickening my breath, itching my fingers, spilling out through the nib of the black Parker fountain pen my husband gave me as an anniversary present appropriate to a writing wife.
Nancy Mairs On Becoming a ( Woman ) Writer: Voice Lessons, 25-26

After six weeks in denial (I’ll never read again, nor do I want to!) and a few more weeks of tentatively working my way back to an approximation of sanity, I am so ready for the semester to start. Feel free to remind me of this in mid-September when the grind catches me in its bloody and inexorable maw, but at the moment I’m feeling the love.

I particularly love Mairs’s description of the feeling of a great idea. My heart pounds and my fingertips tingle. Suddenly something that was vague and singular is there, shimmering almost physically in the empty space in front of me, connected by filaments and fragments and implications to some other unpredicted vague and singular something. And while one of the things I’ve learned in the last year is that I can’t depend on the high of a great idea to get me through–there’s quite a bit of slogging through, even for those of us who love what we do–I certainly enjoy the trip.

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