In all the academic writing, the poetry analysis, the travel updates I haven’t done a personal update in quite awhile. It’s not that I have nothing going on (obviously!) but some of what’s been going on has been personal and also – all my writing brainspace is being taken up with the journaling for class which I’ve been sharing with you here.
But I’m in a really positive headspace this morning so now seems like as good a time for an update as any. In bullet-form, what is me right now?
- Since my grad studies started in September, I really do feel like reading and writing is all I have been doing. And it’s glorious people! Not because I love everything I’m reading – but definitely it’s true that the works I am reading are sparking all sorts of creative ideas in terms of both writing and textile arts. Which is really exciting because I can’t remember the last time I felt this engaged intellectually. The classroom discussions aren’t quite at the level I had hoped (yet), but I enjoy them nonetheless and I feel that the work I am doing on my own is mostly what I want to build on anyway.
- Another cool thing about grad school has been meeting a bunch of new people who I quite like (an interesting, diverse group). We have dinner before every class and are planning a theatre outing in January. After some of my union disappointments in the last couple of years (cliquishness from which I was excluded mainly), it’s nice to be reminded that normal social interactions exist and can be fun!
- On the work front I’ve returned from holidays to a small re-location of some co-workers which has meant changes in my cube-neighbours. It’s suprising how little changes like this can feel like such a movement of energy. Plus, going down to four days a week has been such a great shift in terms of having more time for myself (to do schoolwork mostly).
- I’ve been involved in a competition for a labour movement job recently that has been stressing me out. After a not-great interview yesterday, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be offered the position – but it’s been a really good chance to evaluate myself, my strengths and what I do/don’t like about my current working environment. At the end of the day I’m grateful that I’m looking for work while having a good job already because it would be much more stressful and disappointing a week otherwise.
- On a more emotional front – I am making my current personal work about compassion. That is, becoming a more compassionate person out in the world and towards myself – which is not so easy, really. I have become increasingly judgemental and frustrated with people over the last several years and when I find myself locked in those emotions I wonder how it is that I can’t let them go. It’s been a long time since I have done any personal, exploratory work – and recently I’ve been meditating on this area of my life. Interestingly enough, this coincides with a visit by Karen Armstrong to Vancouver in spring 2012 where she will be lecturing (through SFU) on exactly this subject during “Twelve Days of Compassion“. I am currently reading her book on the same subject – through which I hope to find some practical insight into doing the work I am craving to do.
- And on the note of craving things – since we went away to NYC last week and things have been so busy recently – I am really missing the act of creating! I’ve got part of a skirt and a top cut out and ready to sew, part of a baby blanket crocheted, and a head full of textile art projects going on right now. On top of writing a class paper and going to #OccupyVancouver this weekend, I’ve got to find a way to get my hands into things again.
- On the whole Occupy movement? I’m mostly just curious right now – having seen what looked like a dishevled forest-action-style-camp in NYC – I believe the most important thing isn’t the actual “occupation” but the daily demonstrations that draw from the broad-spectrum of angry people. I will definitely participate in the demonstration this Saturday, and do what I can to assist the occupation going forward – but I won’t be doing any occupying myself because I just don’t see how to balance working, going to school, and the whole family-life-dynamic with sleeping in a tent at the VAG. We’ll see where things go – I am trying to be less critical and more intrigued at the moment because I do have a tendency (that I don’t like) to be all-too cynical around activism these days.
Tonight we have friends in for dinner (soup, fresh breads, cheeses, pickles and cold-cuts – very simple), and it looks like the weather is going to hold for the weekend so perhaps I can get some gardening in on top of everything else – I’ve got plum trees, blueberry bushes, garlic and spring bulbs to plant. Coming back from NYC I’m feeling pretty charmed at the moment – if not a little bit tired.