I began writing this post almost 2 weeks ago. Then life happened and our internet services shut down. Since then I have changed - in many ways. But there is not time to enumerate the changes or even to finish this post. So I will publish this post with the intent that it serve to inform the reader about who I was 2 weeks ago.
I am busily throwing my life away - Pun totally intended.
Old papers, college advertisements, 4H correspondence - every superfluous scrap of paper is headed for the garbage bag.
What cannot be thrown away is being packed away - childhood mementos, textbooks, clothing to be handed down or passed on, pencils, stationary, yes - even books pile nicely into a box for archiving. My room is a collosal omlet of accumulated "treasures" over 17 years of packratting. In desperation, I've stripped my bed and have taken to spending the night wrapped in a quilted cocoon so that in the morning, I can roll that cocoon into the corner and transform my bed into a sorting table again.
It doesn't help matters that for the past month I've been so busy that I began making stacks. Stacks of clothes baskets, stacks of homework, stacks of books, stacks of trash, stacks of things to deal with later, stacks of applications - the list goes on and on. A little path between the lightswitch, the bed, and the desk chair allowed habitation of the dormitory to continue.
But now that finals are over, I'm faced with the realization that soon I must vacate this room and take up life elsewhere. This is a realization that carries with it a plethora of implications and emotions - emotions which surge and fall. During daylight, as long as I keep busy (cleaning my room of course!) I'm all right. But as soon as night falls and I slow my routine, my mind begins to clean up its own little piles of accumulated junk, and I inevitably plunge into ...into...I don't know what it is...I don't know what it is except it is a piercing, aching, throbbing pain, but sweeter the deeper it cuts, almost as if with every turn of the knife a drop of honey were dispensed. A honey which instead of satisfying, craves more. A wild honey which inspite of its sweetness is bitter as well. Ah! Now I can identify "it". It is a craving...yes, a craving - but a craving which knows not for what it craves, nor could understand why it craves if it were able to find the object of its craving.
There is fear. There is joy. There is longing. There is shame. There is bewilderment. There is a strange ambiguous condemnation mixed with absolution. There is sorrow. There is an imminent future rushing on uncheckable and a past quickly slipping through my fingers. There is paralysis. There is complete freedom. Yes! It is like complete freedom - but with your feet and hands pinioned together. But yet, it is not so. It is rather as if you are suddenly freed, but in that instant realize that that freedom is deadly. The bonds you once struggled in are your life, your joy, your protection. But now they are cut - and not by you! - and firm hands propel you out of the prison house; though you beat on the door and tearfully implore readmittance the iron gate will not open.
Such is life. But what is one to do? I wish it were even that easy! But the flown bird now finds that though none will allow him to resume his fetters, his every action is still governed by the proprietors of that selfsame institution which he cannot again enter. Well and good. He does not wish to be governed otherwise. But the proprietors do not give orders anymore. But in fact they do. They cloak their orders under veils of suggestion and comments which might or might not be advice. And though officially, there appear to be no consequences for breaking these disguised "orders", there really are. Disapproval shows itself very plainly. A disapproval that is a thousand times, nay, a million times worse than the scaffold.
I am writing foolishness. Hallucinations. There is no prison house. There are no jailers. There is no sprung bird. There is no bound felon. What is it then? What is it? What is it at night that squeezes the soul in an iron grip and wrings the last tear out of it in the darkness?
Good grief! I always do this. Grr! Instead of writing what I plan to, I intead get off on a tangent. Ah, well.
Humans change. Yes, they really do; and yet they stay the same, for there is nothing new under the sun.
People change in the same way that the humans before them have changed, yet there is a different sequence to the change so that no two humans change in the exact same manner.
I am a different person than I was yesterday. I'm even different than I was an hour ago. And by the time I have finished typing this blog post, I will have changed from what I was when I began.
Yet, though what I am has changed, who I am has not - if you can even separate those two; I do it simply as an illustration. For I am Sarah - God's own child (I gladly say it!) and that fact will never change. But other aspects of me fluctuate, disintegrate, slough off as a snake sheds it's skin, and are acquired or mature through exposure and practice.
At least to me, it has become increasingly obvious how different I am from the person I was a year ago. But to be honest, that change came in increments, in little moments, in quiet opining, not all of a sudden. These past six or so days, I noticed seemingly tiny events and thoughts transform my thinking (and I pray, my behavior.)
intermission: taking a break from packing and cleaning
Wednesday I was swamped, rushing frantically to catch up with the last wave of finals, essays, and debate speeches. And I missed a final.
Yes, in the midst of my rush, I somehow missed the fact that SPEE 104 had a final at 10am instead of 1pm. I arrived at the classroom at 12:50 to find the lights off and no-one in the vicinity. Knocking at the door of my professor's office I was greeted by an exclamation, "Are you ok?"
That took me completely aback. Of course I was ok.
"You missed the final!"
Some other sagacious person has confessed a tendency for tears to flow too easily. I also confess the same. It is especially difficult to hold back the tears when one is nervous, anxious, exhausted, and still thinking of all the work that has yet to be done.
Thankfully, Prof. DesRosiers was extremely gracious and merciful, allowing me to take the test then and there. So once more this year I had to swallow my pride and receive grace which I had done nothing to deserve. (Professors at [my school] are alot like Christ in their kindness and mercy on their students. This is not the first time I've received mercy where I expected law.)
On arriving home, already shaken, I witnessed Fenella Vevina chase a visitor and actually nip at her. That shook me even more; I don't know why that doggy is so protective, but that frightening incident displayed more clearly the necessity of getting Anna and Fenella trained. And soon. There is a professional training center not too far away and not too expensive. Fenella needs to learn that our friends aren't going to hurt her "special people," ie: our family. I know it is a herd dog instinct to protect her territory, but she must learn that some people are allowed on her territory. Anyway, the dog was sentenced to her kennel for the remainder of the visit.
Wed. night I faced both an essay and a monumental debate due in the morning. An hour of tea partying with my sisters and Juliana really relieved quite a bit of tension.
That evening, my debate partner came over (again, for the third time that week) and we carved away at our speeches and evidence. Certain that the negative team would literally cream us, we plugged away together until nigh on ten thirty or so, then worked away at our respective homes late into the night. In the morning, we called each other (after I returned from my last voice lesson) and worked at our computers over the phone until barely minutes before leaving for the co-op. Tina printed our material (as our printer had malfunctioned) and we used our study hall session to frantically write one more construction and a rebuttal speech.
As it turned out, this debate was the best (I think) that we have every done, even though the evidence was against us. We did well for two reasons. One: the negative team did not begin working on their debate until 11pm the night before, and Two: instead of merely presenting our case in the first construction and "winging" the rest of the speeches, we organized our information, structured our speeches to logically flow, and rather than incorporating all of our evidence into the constructions, we purposely left holes in our arguement for the negative team to ask us about during cross-examination. It worked! Another new thing for us was the fact that we had all but one speech written out ahead of time. That greatly aided our presentation and our confidence. The mere experience of being prepared was exhilarating!
And I was able to laugh. A true laugh. It's been a long time since I've been able to laugh till my sides ache and I can hardly breathe - to snort, and cry and roll with the hilarious irony of a situation. It finally happened Wed. night during debate prep; I think I can go a long time on the power of that laugh.
Thursday night I finished up my essay for Essay Writing class. (My teacher allowed me to email it to her that evening instead of turning it in, in view of the wildness of the previous portion of the week.)
And we were expecting babies. Yes, baby goats. Caprina, my precious girl, was due and in the evening began to show some vague signs of imminent labor; heavy breathing, tightly bagged udder, tail head and hip ligaments loosened to the point where I could wrap my fingers around her tailbone, digging "nests" in the bedding, crying when left alone. I stayed up, checking her every half hour or so, until 2 am. Then I finally turned in to bed, though still awakening to check on Caprina about every hour. And that, that goat didn't have her kids all night!
Friday was strangely serene. And in that sereneness I could finally think. ( In light of the week I decided not to even attempt putting together an illustrated talk for the State Caprine Expo.)
I can't even remember what I did Friday morning - perhaps I began packing away my college texts - by lunch time, Caprina's condition had not changed and I worried that Juliana might not get to witness the birth at all. We lunched with Mrs. Grobien and her lovely children who had arrived to claim their sister. After lunch Brigitta and I walked about the farm, looking at goats and cows and what-not: tails especially. Brigitta loved tails. I made the mistake of absent-mindedly pulling a long tender shoot of grass and holding it between my teeth as I normally do when contemplative. Bergie immediately decided that she wanted to do the same.
Despite my general disorderliness, I have my personal "germ" peeves, and this applies to grass too. One cannot stick any old blade of grass in one's teeth. One must find the right stalk and gingerly, ever-so-carefully, pull it out of it's sheath. When one does the thing properly, there remains a small, tender, clean section on the proximal end where the stalk was tucked deep into the rest of the grass plant. Only this "sterile" end (as it were) can be placed in the mouth.
Brigitta, of course, did not understand this concept, and as I felt that the exact mechanics were perhaps beyond her grasp though I couldn't kindly deny her request, I proceeded to pull ten or so stalks (consecutively) for her. Upon receiving each one, she stuck it between her teeth, grinned disarmingly at me (quite a pretty picture she made: grass in her teeth, boots on her feet, and cow in the background.) sucked/chewed her grass quite properly and proceeded to feed each one to the juvenile bovine, promptly demanding another one.
Finally, I informed her that this was the last grass. After that I wouldn't pick another one. She chewed this for the longest time, petting the cow off and on. Finally it appeared that she would feed her grass to the young mammal. She allowed the cow to lick the end of the grass (the chewed end) but then snatched it away and ...tried to put it back in her mouth! Fortunately for her, I stopped the little hand just in time. Children should not share saliva with cows! Although I explained this to Bergie, she didn't seem to get it. But she was very, very disturbed that the calf didn't have a mama at our house. And she seemed quite perturbed that we couldn't go into the pasture to pet BDub's tail. Most of all, she wanted to know, "Why?" Why didn't we have the cow's mama? Why couldn't we go see the house being built at the neighbors? Do goats have blood? Where is it? Why can't I see it?
I know this is unfinished but, Oh Well!