Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Where Glued Blue Glass is Right Now
I have a confession to make. I got back to the U.S. the other day. It was a very long trip home that took over 24 hours but facilitated an arrival in the same day. Time travel. Then I slept for two days. I felt like Sleeping Beauty. I'd wake up for a little while and then my head would get heavy, my thoughts fuzzy, and I would fall back asleep with Maya, my kitty, by my side.
I had taken two months off from work because I was burnt out and needed a break. Travel is always a great way for me to gain perspective. And so, because I could, I planned for and eventually embarked on a not so cheap adventure.
I have always wanted to learn Arabic and have been a little pissed at myself that I don't speak and read it. I have a foundation. And it comes easier to me. I don't even struggle much with pronunciation. I have also always wanted to learn a language that is indigenous to the Americas, and I haven't accomplished that dream either. Not yet at least. I am digressing.
And, I wanted to go back to Lebanon. Last trip was mostly about making the country tangible again. This one was about creating or rediscovering, whichever is really the case, my connection to the country.
Unclogging my burnout, studying Arabic, and creating connection proved to be alot to take on. Studying Arabic was taking up all of my time and I was loving it but wasn't working on the other two components, and mostly not getting the rest that I needed. I learned alot about myself. I cannot, no matter how hard I try, not do my homework and feel OK about it. I need to work my ass off no matter what even if it means sacrificing right brain creativity and health. Which is why I needed the break from work to begin with.
I also learned that I have this Protestant work ethic that makes it very difficult for me to accept unstructured time off. Which is why I decided to take the course anyway. Plus, what better way to create, establish, rediscover,... connection than through language. Right?
Because I wasn't getting the rest I really needed, I decided to come home early to be with my two sweeties Maya and E. and spend the remaining month resting and creating. Did I say that I also wanted to work on my writing during these two months?
This is my new struggle. The Protestant work ethic is in true form right now. I am staying at E's because my deck is in pieces. Another story. She works and I feel guilty that I have time off. I've been reading and writing but have not been patient with the writing at all. I WANT IT OUT NOW. But, I don't even know what form I want it to take. Right now I am trying to force a poem about nostalgia and my romaticizing Lebanon. Just the fact that I can tell you exactly what I want the poem to be about tells me that a poem may not be the right form for it.
The other day, at the Rafic Hariri Airport in Beirut, I stood in two lines that were a half hour each. Some people, with "connections," were being escorted to the front of the line. The man behind me was fuming in Arabic. I told myself to breathe.
Which is what I will try to do now.
Blogging will be my balance. And, yes, now that I can post photos without AUB security, I will be regularly writing and posting photos about my trip and my current creative frustrations. Don't worry.