The Last Waning Rays…

Another gorgeously “succulent” day in Edinburgh. That’s my clever euphemism for “soaked to the bone.” Even the pavement is soggy.

This winter brings the familiar scholastic pressure of brooding deadlines directly ahead, only minorly obfuscating the impending and unavoidably cloying cheer of the Holidays, so rapidly approaching. And I don’t even get to enjoy turkey and stuffing over here! The little departmental library has been my roost of late, where past the thick windows and thicker barrier of radiated warmth, the rest of the soggy world goes on its way. It’s still a rush for me to walk around this city, especially when the unyielding downpour turns both buildings and walls that remarkable shade of seeping, dark gray. I’ve never seen gray so…gray.

The title of a given thesis or presentation holds as much importance to me as the body of the text or talk itself, as if knowing and putting it to paper, valiantly heralding the proof of its veracity below, is some kind of power or key to making it salient and founded. I’ve chosen the title for my first paper today, but I shall not bore anyone but myself with it here. The fact remains that the rest of it is just a matter of course. The title is done! The trick, then, is adapting my style and substance to please those quirky, tradition-laden British academics. Please don’t think this is a conceit, only an observation. I will learn from any forum that’s presented to me, including this one. It’s just my natural resistance to change…

…and on that note, I see some of the glaring weaknesses in my personality surfacing these days, no doubt a symptom of all these Big Decisions and Whirlwind Changes since my arrival here. The greatest of these is my insistence on needing to grasp permanence, in any and all areas of my life. Well, that’s just ridiculous. Nothing is forever, including the quantum fluff of which together we’re fused. Material possessions are ultimately meaningless. And most certainly of all: plans change.

There’s an inherent insecurity and temporal disdain I clearly have for things not “sure to be, and to continue to be,” as if my planning for the future takes precedence over the now, and the consequential future itself. It’s the need to Know, and the need to Have, and these are classic Taurean weaknesses at the root level of who I am. I say “weaknesses” because they have caused me no end of internal torture, which is obviously self-imposed. But it’s taken me this long to identify it. Now I can systematically attempt to alter it, and ease the wrenching necessity to control the uncontrollable, on so many levels. That is just as important a goal for me on this trip as returning triumphantly with my degree, if I may return at all.

A perfect example of this distracting compulsion is my only being able to truly enjoy something if everything else in my emotional life is controlled and clean and manageable. That’s the only time that my mind is quiet, and my heart is full, with whatever it should be full of. When it is, it really is, and the heavens shine brightly, illuminating the subtle beauty of the world and all its processes. But when it’s not, I become immobile, like a burned-out hulk of a penetrated tank, turret still oscillating, but no tracks attached to instigate the most simple of movements. And life is too short for stasis. Especially when there’s so much to see, and feel, and learn.

I’m getting it.

7 Responses to “The Last Waning Rays…”

  1. mxhaunted Says:
    November 17th, 2003 at 9:20 am

    If you think this is grey… take a visit to Croydon, the home and birthplace of grey. Croydon makes Edinburgh feel like a veritable burst of luminous colour!
    And NAY to knocking the weather over here. It’s been the driest year on record. After living in London I’m bowled over by just how little it rains up here. Scary but true!

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 17th, 2003 at 9:26 am

    Who's knocking it?
    I'm going swimming in a few…
    Wanna come?

  3. mxhaunted Says:
    November 17th, 2003 at 9:35 am

    Naaaaaaaaaaa… I’m going to use my trusty (and much ridiculed) umbrella.

  4. evilfb Says:
    November 18th, 2003 at 9:06 pm

    Tushie-rub ?????

  5. shawree Says:
    November 20th, 2003 at 2:47 am

    I’ve never seen gray so…gray.
    Hehe, welcome to Scotland. 🙂
    Stumbled across your journal via the random option. Your thesis topic sounds interesting to me – but then again I just finished mine which was on the "invention" of the kilt. Good luck with your work!

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 20th, 2003 at 4:15 am

    Well, thanks for the Welcome.
    You know you're an academic fool when other people's thesis topics sound interesting…
    I wish you good luck with your last year, as well!

  7. shawree Says:
    November 20th, 2003 at 4:38 am

    It's sad, isn't it? 😉 Seems I missed the last chance to get off the academic train…

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