I've been working on syllabi for the upcoming fall term. It's strange to be planning out December when it's August, warm, and the dewpoint has finally plunged from 80 to 54 today. Perhaps the dewpoint is setting the mood. Even the 'Nekan' sage began blooming today (a sage first found just a few miles away here in Lincoln, NE--beautiful sky blue blooms).
I'm thinking about migrations and transience, especially as my 70-80 monarchs go from egg to butterfly. I'm thinking about the goals I had set out for myself way back in May, full of hope and faith. I was to have finished drafting my memoir Morning Glory by mid June, then work on research for the Oklahoma / Mennonite memoir. It took me until mid July to feel happy with Morning Glory, and I have only read a few dozen pages on the ecology of the Great Plains or the history of Oklahoma Territory. And I know as school begins, research focus can either totally vanish or--in desperation--become intensely manifested in a few free hours here and there.
But I know, too, the narratives and stories and interviews I need for the next book are deteriorating, seeping into the Ogallala Aquifer as people age, as family become distant to history, and history to family and all of us alive today. But I am not ready to follow those stories, to know the context and ask the deeper questions and search out the sponged away places.
And yet the monarchs seem to never change, year to year the same regal four wings, orange and yellow and black. They appear the same, though they're generations upon generations removed. My college students look the same, except they seem to get younger and younger and I get older and older (I was never that young! Or, that young is very different than my young). And still, look at photos of college students 50 years ago and they aren't that disimilar. In another 50 won't they have the same desires and fears, joys and triumphs? How impossibly deep we are, how shallow, how transient and permanent. How little everything matters when it matters so much.