Detritus From My Psyche

Hello my pretties,

   The title hints at not having much to say, yet I want to say it anyway in the hopes that the therapeutic punching on keyboard will reward me or someone else with an insight that gives sober pause. I do wish I didn't have this motley assortment of thoughts and revelations flashing through my thinly-guarded psyche all the time, though; it might be kind of cool to just turn off all of the internal dialog and vegetate a bit. How does one do this, I wonder? I can't seem to stop myself from talking to myself, and the inner myself is always butting in with new and quite random thoughts to share. I'm not always in the mood to share.

   What strikes me in the morning, every morning, is my reflection in the mirror. I always have a feeling of distance and aloofness when I see myself this way; I am looking at someone else, someone I don't know but know too well. This experience is disconcerting, to say the least, and I stand there far longer than I should, trying to figure out why I see my reflection this way. The disconnect probably shouldn't bother me, but it does. It does.

   I feel too philosophical in the mornings, yet I love the mornings of my life, the darkness outside blanketing my thoughts, allowing me to condense thought and action. I can get it together in the quietness, when everyone else in my city sleeps, while the streets are devoid of internal combustion chaos; everything is 3-dimensional and electric to the touch at 3:30 AM, and nothing is so pressing as getting my thoughts down on paper (or on screen) so that the next morning can be used for editing, distilling, looking for the purity in muddled thoughts. I rarely find the purity, but when I do, it's magic. And, really, how much magic do we get in our lives? It's a depressingly small amount, but my semi-charmed life compensates greatly for it.

   It is in the mornings when I think that maybe, maybe I can write a book, maybe I have something to say that is publishable, some big sweeping story that illuminates the human condition and gives the human prospect hope. Then, I go to work...

  It is now that the thought departs. I work on today's lessons (today's lesson being over the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus - the second and coolest part of it), immersed in detail and conscious of my obligation to make it understandable to kids who are still struggling with life and first loves and factoring. The thing is, I don't really like math, but I am entranced by its beauty and cleanness and iron logic, a logic so pristine and clear that it becomes beautiful. This, I suppose, is why my kids find more success in understanding calculus than they should, for I get excited by the beauty and power of calculus, forgetting that math should be tough.

   Then the thought comes back. Maybe I can write a book! If truth is beauty and if math is the ultimate in truth, then maybe I have the requisite skills and insight to write a book! Crazy, crazy thought! I try to dismiss it. I move on to my statistics lessons, this one dealing with comparing two samples and trying to determine if there is a significant difference between them. I love teaching stats because it is so relevant and so unclean, like most math. It is a fusion of need and truth, with practically every aspect of life needing clarity and using the truths of math to try to get some of that clarity. Stats is wonderfully gray and ambiguous, a hybrid bastard that may turn out to be the prettiest one at the ball. Again, I get that feeling, that feeling that the guy looking at me from behind the looking glass can write a book, but I can't.

   At the end of the day, I am tired from mental effort, but I am usually pleased that I did my best. I no longer have the energy or wherewithal to presume I could write anything remotely interesting to the great unwashed. I am part of the great unwashed, and I will never be smart enough to be called author. I look in the mirror. The guy there is no longer anyone other than me, the immutable laws of reflection forcing me to know - to know without a doubt - that the guy is reflected light waves, the image size dependent on light source and distance from object of reflection. The magic, if there were any magic to begin with, is gone, leaving a vacuum of unsettled emotions and thoughts ping-ponging around the brain. The word persnickety comes unbidden, the ugly little step-sister of words. I hate that word.

   I must get back to myself by reading in the evenings. I must fall in love with someone or something in a book, I must find a startling truth or an uncomfortable one before nodding off. I must! I don't know why I'm so ****** up this way, but the detritus of my mind will not leave, ever. So, I will now try to silence it with hot water.

   Yes, dear reader, I will now take a long, hot shower, preparatory to getting ready for school. I will lean against the shower wall and let the water cascade over me because hot water seems more therapeutic to me than all of the psychiatrists in the world. I will dress myself with my terrible fashion sense as my guide. I will get in my vehicle and leave a carbon footprint for others to clean up, and I will play music way too loud on the way to work. I will drink my coffee and run copies and make overheads and think deeply about what the kids need to hear in order to give them a chance to be successful in such a tough subject. I will be patient with them because I really do love these kids, these beings that want to make the world a better place, kids that really do respect their teachers (even when they know we're ******* up) and really do want to make everything better for all concerned. They are our greatest resource, and someone needs to help them out.

   Today, I will be the catcher in the rye.

 

DS

DentedSyke DentedSyke
56-60, M
Feb 17, 2009