We are beings-in-process. At every stage of self-discovery, we look back reinterpret the past, gleaning for clues that we would eventually come to here.
Back in Charlottesville, Virginia, I lean against the columns of the historic lawn at UVa to smoke a cigarette and shelter myself from the rain. I’m the only one standing still in the current of umbrella’d students scurrying to classes, restaurants, coffee shops.
Funny how a place is more emotion than geography.
I heard the other day that a close friend from high school is a creative writing major. Good, I thought, that he should end up where he should be. I wonder if he couldn’t shake the same impulse that I am always fighting—the sneaking knowledge that writing is the best way to sort through things internal and external. Things past and present. And did he sort through me the way I sorted through him?
I have a memory of pestering him to include me in an essay. I think I wanted confirmation that I wasn’t the only one encountering real life through writing. He said he did, but never showed me the result.
In Alderman library, I wonder how I would’ve been at a school of 30,000 students instead of 1600. I count down the days till I return to school, and from then until graduation. These sorts of anxieties are best calmed by a pen—this break has already produced ten poems.
I will write my way from Charlottesville back to Gambier, and from the past back into the present (and onward)