If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
Monday 18 June 2012
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
Henry Kissinger (27 May 1923 – )
Not exactly my favorite guy, but then again Beethoven wrote some pretty fine music even if he wasn’t always very nice to his nephew. And this quotation that caught my eye the other day did bring to mind a recent post (My Miserable Metalife) of mine on this blog. There I kvetched about how frightfully my time seemed daily truncated and preventing me from doing all the dreadfully important things that I simply have to do every day.
Of course, I make no claim to anything like the elegant concision of Mr K’s eloquent formulation of a fundamentally similar notion.
Not only next week, but any next day of your choosing, I am booked absolutely solid: breakfast, tutoring early in the day, volunteer work in the late morning, lunch with quondam colleagues, dinner and an early movie with a former student, that nine o’clock showing of ‘Burn Notice’, sorting the day’s mail into piles, writing some checks, trying for lights out before midnight … Merely the recitation of my agenda exhausts me!
No, not exactly a crisis on a Kissingerian scale but, collectively, in my more diminished world very definitely a somber crise – and this despite the fact that my choked schedule simply can’t fit it in. Further, no breathing room has been penciled in for a few minutes of reading (skimming, actually) the papers (or just the headlines) and dealing in as perfunctory a fashion as possible with two weeks’ worth of magazines (all of which subscriptions I should in the interest of maintaining some kind of sanity cancel forthwith), finishing the blog I’ve been meaning to get to for over a week now, having the briefest of naps, filling up the car with liquid gold, worrying about everything I am not getting done that just have to get done.
Now, I think to myself, imagine that somewhere amid this structured chaos I had to work … grading badly written papers, preparing brilliant lectures, handling students unjustifiably irate over grades that are already more in the nature of gifts of merciful compassion, sit through one more pointless committee meeting filled with the somnolent droning of narcissistic academics, chair a department colloquium for graduate students, attend a visiting fireman’s boring lecture that is de rigeur, go out to dinner with said guest … well, you get the general picture of what would surely be cognitive hopelessness.
And that’s just a small fish like me in the tiny pond that is local life – it is inconceivable for me even to begin to imagine what life must be like for the big sharks cruising the vast oceans out there.