Block 177: August 20, 2013

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I’m actually breathing a sigh of relief today. I feel like a personal obstacle has been passed.

Phew.

Date: August 20, 2013

Crane: 177

Days Spent on Project: 184

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Professor Marley.

I think Professor Marley is the closest I’ll ever come to knowing an Oscar Wilde in my lifetime.

From what I remember and understand- and it may be clouded by a few years away and some mythologizing- Professor Marley was one of the first female professors at Kenyon when she took her job with the drama department.

She was brilliant. She was confident. She was witty. She had a relaxed ease about her that was impressive and humbling; I’ve come to think people only display those traits when they know they are in control of a situation and yet are comfortable not controlling it. I can’t begin to tell you the reverence that the drama majors held her in. She was placed on a pedestal, because she was frankly awesome, but also because she knew her way around theater, directing, and life.

There is a campus legend concerning her. When she was first hired on faculty, years ago, there was to be an all faculty function. The wives of the professors were to bring the food and refreshments. When she was approached by this committee of wives to contribute something, as she was female, she responded, “I don’t bake cookies.”

She directed one show a year for the department. I was never lucky enough to be cast in them. (I don’t think I had the wit to be in one of her plays, honestly). She taught Voice & Diction (which I never took), and also a class on Modern Drama (which I did- learning about 19th Century Drama was never so alive).

She would later on, during my last year (?), adopt a Jack Russell Terrier. As someone who was obsessed with Wishbone (that dog on television), this only made her cooler. After witnessing how energetic her Jack Russell was, I changed my mind that it was the dog for me…

I feel like she was the epitome of understated, yet understood, cool within the drama department. She has since retired, and I believe she is out west in Arizona, if my mind serves me well this morning. She was with Kenyon for a good many years, and many several people’s fond memories of Kenyon’s drama department include her.

Music I listened to while sewing: Today, I’m listening to Bondax. Spotify recommended it. Always good to know of a new artist!

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I guess I want to stress today that we shouldn’t take the things in our life for granted.

I feel likeI’ve had a very interesting year. It certainly hasn’t been smooth. Professionally, I’ve flown through a bit of stormy weather. Personally, I feel like I’ve had to deal with situations and their repercussions. Romantically, nothing has happened, which is sadly the norm these days. Mentally, I’m just tired. Emotionally, I’ve frequently wondered if I can keep going for the rest of my life like this.

But, don’t take it for granted.

There will be people, or even a person, who will be there if you ask. Don’t abuse that presence.

Life will always be moving around you. It doesn’t end or pause itself as you’re dealing with baggage. As you steel yourself up for a bad meeting or a confrontation or boredom or another day at work, the people around you are also going through their dramas and tediums.

(And I’m starting to realize how beautiful that is. Each of our lives is an epic story, and we’re the central protagonist within it. We’ve all got chapters of drama and exposition behind and ahead of us. We’re all working our ways through them. The tragic beauty is that we don’t always recognize that common effort, you know? It’s not like you’re a lone book sitting on someone’s end table at night; we’re books surrounded in a library that gets shuffled and reorganized daily, it seems.

Our lives are so literary, aren’t they?)

Anyway, it’s hard not to live in the moment and recognize the things we have. It’s easier to focus on the things we’re left without.

We should try to be grateful for what we have, and yet also be aware that those things we have might be lacking in someone else. Do we share them? Hide them? Protect them?

Live in the moment.

Let’s.

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