The last two weeks has been a series of extreme highs and lows.
Beginning with a low, my computer (on which were all the stories I’ve ever finished, my passwords to every website, thousands of pictures, all the recordings I’ve made of my poems, the many stages of my book cover file, and basically everything digital I’ve created in the last quarter of my life–not to mention its uses for things like college course work and Wednesday poems) died last week. The only upsides were 1) that my campus is well-stocked with computers so I can at least still access the internet–hence the update today–and 2) that I had the prescience to at least put the poems themselves into Dropbox. I only wish I’d done so to the rest of my files…
To follow, a high: I saw two very different sorts of celebrities performing in the last four days. The first was Andy Grammer, who I watched with some of my very best friends, and we had a great time singing and dancing as we watched him on the outdoor stage. The second was Tyehimba Jess, a poet I’ve already written about, who to my great excitement came to Wheaton today and did a reading of his poems. I still cannot recommend these highly enough. They are deeply rooted in the history of black America, of minstrel shows, and of thousands of years of poetry, but are at the same time relevant and moving in the context of today–besides being a pleasure to read for their sheer genius. Stuttering with admiration, I had him sign my copy of his book.
This high was, however, intertwined with a low, as I had expected to talk to him in person in a much smaller group setting with an English professor: and that group was canceled at the last minute. I have never felt like I needed to meet someone as much as I felt like I needed to meet him, and knowing, when it was canceled, that I couldn’t (at least not in the way I’d hoped) was a severe disappointment, to add to the frustrations of the week.
Another low was the admission of a friend on my floor to the hospital last night. She was having abdominal pain and is still in pain now, but she is back on the floor, and we know for sure that she does not have appendicitis, which was the main worry. I visited her in the hospital today, an addition to the plethora of other things I did (class and babysitting and Jess and a sophomore career dinner). It was bizarre how surreal the whole thing seemed. How surreal the whole week has seemed.
Additionally, I’ve felt lately that my poetry has simply dried up. I don’t know why except that some kind of fear of my own self has set in and has prevented me from practicing piano, writing poems at random, and even harmonizing when I’m singing–all things I usually do automatically, things that are a part of me. Without those, and without my computer files, I feel lost. My art defined me. Without it, who am I? I don’t even know.
(To add insult to injury, one of my favorite tops just ripped as I’ve been writing. So I’m sitting in sterile-looking computer lab in the basement of my dorm with a huge tear in my shirt. I almost laughed at the awfulness when it happened.)
So yes, I’ve been pleading that God will give me some kind of mercy and rest from this relentless everything that has been flying at me. It looks like I will not become best friends with Tyehimba Jess and I will not always be able to write poems on a whim and I will not always have energy to do my homework when I need to (such as now–and look what I’m doing instead, venting on the internet). But at least I know one thing, and that is a huge one: I am a child of God. He made me. He loves me. He came to earth, became a human (how could He want to be one of us?), and died for me.
And because of that, I have eternity to figure out who I am. I have eternity to find my art again and to worship Him with it. I will have eternity to rest.
I guess when I look at it that way there’s nothing more I could want.