Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rediscovering My Center

Tuesday, May 30,2012—Long Beach, CA

Lazy days. As soon as I was released from school my desire to do much of anything has dissolved. Actually that’s not quite true. I’ve been doing reading, writing, and I’ve resumed my study of Greek, but all in a low-key kind of way. I’ve also been physically active: I’ve been riding my bike, running on the beach, and lifting weights. The beach running is the most important of these activities. I gave up running years ago, and lately I’ve noticed how creaky and stiff my body has become; while playing baseball with my sister’s kids a few weeks back I realized that I could no longer really run (it was scary feeling so limited and old). I’m trying to see if this can be reversed. So far I think it can, up to a point. Thus far my body is responding well. It’s just a matter of how far I can take it.

Still going around in circles on whether or not to go to Greece again this summer. I’ve been doing some serious number crunching and I’m beginning to realize that I’m not in as good of a financial position as I before thought. I’m also wondering if a long trip is something I should be doing now. Besides my money issues, I’m just plain tired. I ran around Greece all last summer and then had a long, intense year teaching. Maybe this summer should be about recharging. I also would like to reconnect with friends I’ve neglected over the last couple years. Traveling in California a bit this summer also sounds good; I really want to get up to Sacramento and Santa Cruz at least before school starts. On the other hand, the idea of floating thru a few Greek islands for a month sounds so wonderful, peaceful, and in some ways necessary. Though the money’s tight I could pull it off. I’m also worried that if I don’t go this summer and money suddenly becomes tight I might not be able to get back there for years, which is a big consideration.

Another series of issues I need to address revolve around publishing. BSP needs a lot of work. I also need to get serious about getting out both the poetry book and figuring out how to deal with putting the Backwaters books into the right hands. I’ve spent the last few years working very hard as a writer and now it’s time to put the same sort of effort into the publishing side. In other words, I have the books and now it’s time to do something with them. Maybe going to Greece is partially a way for me to avoid dealing with aspects of the literary world I’m not particularly good at and do not enjoy. If nothing else I know that teaching takes so much time and so much out of me I know that’s it’s dangerous for me not to jump on things when I finally have the time—it’s easy for years to vanish that way and for publishing opportunities to be missed, perhaps for good.

On a different front … It’s interesting how different I feel about things as soon as the pressure of teaching is off me. For months I’ve been semi-obsessing about what’s been going on inside of my head and about things that are supposedly missing from my life. But now that I have time to just BE a lot of that has fallen away and I’m back to being the semi-happy materialist I am at heart. I’ve been worrying about my soul when all I really needed to find my center apparently was a little time to run on the beach and write. Overwork and lack of personal freedom weigh heavily on me. I need a lot of time to myself in order to keep my center—it’s just who I am, a necessary ingredient in the functioning of the photon assemblage that is Rob Woodard. Somehow I need to figure out ways to relax more and regain perspective during the school years: I just can’t lose myself for the six or seven months of the year when teaching gets really challenging. Being happy is being yourself. I need to do a better job of keeping track of me.

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