I've been getting wonderful moments of inspiration at exactly the most inconvenient times. Thoughts will swirl around my frontal lobe and I say YES! That's IT! THAT'S what I mean to say! And I'm usually driving, so the Thought rolls down the window and jumps ship, fading into the life that sits in my rearview mirror. Even now, in the light of day without a vehicle to be seen, those once clear thoughts are hanging just outside the edges of clarity. So what I'm saying is that I really don't have much of anything sensible to say.
Exams are progressing well and oddly enough I actually find myself studying. Normally most terms thus far in my illutrious academic career, have been perforated with, maybe one or two (at most) exams that require work... the rest get read over and written, but fail to really jump into any limelight. This term, however, really threw a wrench into the whole process. They've demanded my time and consideration and I hate them for it, but it's nice to not walk in and go "ok, I totally don't remember any of this". So here I sit inside the University of New Brunswick's illustrious walls, doing my best to not make a mockery, questioning heavily of whether or not I am succeeding. That, and I'm waiting for my math study group.
Peter comes home a week from tonight and I am finding myself in that particular state of anxiousness for his safety. It always seems that the closer anything happens to Christmas, on any side of it, seems to make it all the worse. Maybe it comes from my staunch traditional side that says it is a time for friends, family, thanks, and reflection. Maybe it's a whispered fear that says I will never be the same if something happens right now. But then again, I would probably never be the same no matter what happened, but I'm hoping you know what I mean. Very little of my life has made it into chisled stone format. If anything, my days seem to reflect a big proverbial Grab Bag of change and lack of direction, except for Christmas. Christmas is different and I like that. I like that it's stable and turkey, friends and family, trees and endless Christmas carols. I like that I enjoy people a little more than usual, and everything that I have surrounding me has a large dose of borderline tacky attached to it. After all, how many times a year do you really get to dig out fake snow and hang shiney balls from anything that seems willing to let them hang? Exactly. So while I will continue to worry about Peter, both at work and while he travels home, I will also try to be concious of blessings and understanding that Whoever seems to be in charge of this Big Mess has a bigger scope than I do.
Just this week a girl was killed while crossing the highway - a common shortcut from the university to the section of town where she lived. She was also in the education program and if memory serves me, I had taken a class with her just this summer past. We never knew one another in the context of sitting down for coffee and discussings the frustrations of the day, but like so many you made eye contact in the hallways and said a hurried hello as you rushed off to class. She was 27, young, well travelled, and according to the obituary well loved by all those who knew her. So I thought about a lot of random things that all seemed to stem from hearing of her tragic and senseless death. I thought about how many people rush by and how so many more remove themselves further with headsets and watching their feet. Even where I work, an elementary school where you would think that a passion for learning should be nurtured and fed, is filled with heads down, rushing by. I thought about how often I see the Vice Principal several times a day and how she has never spoken to me. About how so many assistants are so worries that I may want to hone in on their jobs that they will meet my eye yet never smile. And I thought about fears and what they do to us and how even I get nervous about saying hello sometimes because I don't know how it will be received.
Peter's last name is Carson, and while I am not prone to giving out last names, it makes this a little more clear. He grew up on Carson Lane, fished in Carson Brook, and played in the woods that consists of over 200 acres between his father and his uncle. To get to these places you have to turn off the main road and eventually zig-zag your way off several sideroads. Last year we had a party out there, and Alisa, while familiar with the area, couldn't find the sign to direct her specifically. Peter's dad informed her that the snow plow had knocked it over and it was leaning up again the side of the house that sat directly across the street. And as I went up there last Saturday night for the anual Yankee Swap, I really got a good look at all the time and care that went into decorating their homes. The homes that had probably never had a mortgage and probably needed new windows and siding. Homes that were drafty and unlevel but had plenty of wood for the fire and something to level whatever was sitting crooked. What I noticed was that the outsides weren't perfect. They had glaring faults and missing paint. They wouldn't fetch the top market price yet they were invaluable and Christmas means that you haul out the lights and you work with what you've got. You hang bows on doors and string lights anywhere that will hold them because the only thing that really mattered about the outside was that it protected the inside, and it is the inside that matters most. The outside was a seasonal improvement.
So here I sit, remembering it's the inside that's important, concentrating on not rushing by, stepping outside of myself to say hello and taking the time to not only meet their eyes but smiling too.
It's sunny and cold outside. A beautiful day. Merry Christmas. :)