Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stages, Steps, Shifts...Something With an "S"

"AND study the classic books,
the straight history
all of it candid."
-E. Pound

Contrary to Pound's excellent advice, I've never been one for sustained scholarship. In fact, I've been quite critical of it, disappointed in some of the menial places it leads writing and thinking. I'm often wrong about that, and miss some great writing and thinking. I can't help but keep up the criticism, however: I think it's a general trend towards movement in my personality.

Wait, I can explain that vague comment.

I was always driven to move, to expand. I have always had a hard time staying in one place, one program... even one country. I see everything in my life as stages towards the next event. This is due to some good reasons (desire to explore, intellectual curiosity, passion for various subjects and geographies) and some bad ones (need for stimuli, tendency towards boredom, an at times critical nature). I didn't, to continue the literary metaphor that Pound used, always desire the candid and historical nature of what I was experiencing. I needed to move on, expand, see the next horizon.

Jaime and I are fond of the mental exercise where you imagine that you've won the lottery. Say you have millions of dollars. What would you do? There are several ways to play this, but Jaime and I focus on two aspects. One: Imagine you have millions, and want to use that millions to live. Two: Imagine that you have millions to live on, and you think of what you would do with your free time.

I like the second one, because it is a better exercise for planning what to do with your life. What would you spend your time doing? This works well for Jaime and I, since we're people who like to work. I guess if my goal was to lay around all day, the exercise would be a failure. But I really want to work, to do something. So, what would I do?

I would teach. I would write poetry. But most of all, I'd travel. I'd spend time going all over the world. I'd find a school in India that let me teach, a school in Japan, Brazil... I'd move. I'm not driven by money. I care nothing for money. But it'd be nice to have the freedom to move around.

So, this week I am working on applying for jobs, finding some places to teach. Maybe here, maybe somewhere else. I don't really care where. Because what I want to do is teach, write my poems, and move around. Staying in one place for years is torturous tome, for all of those good and bad reasons.

No comments: