Renewal Twenty : Being A Fool With Dignity

The emotional and cognitive meanderings of yesterday continues, though work took up a great deal of the energy to ponder things. This was another incredibly busy Tuesday, as all Tuesdays and Thursdays are when I teach–at least for the last three years.

Again though, I seem to feel pretty good. And I went out on my third date in the last 10 days, all with separate women and all a bust from an energy standpoint–just not a key and a lock so to speak. Since I’ve sworn off being a locksmith, the opportunity of having an opportunity seems to have narrowed. And still, I feel pretty good. And I didn’t sleep worth a damn last night, again.

Student papers are coming in, and most are still in the beginning stages of the writer’s struggle (a struggle that seems to be endless, regardless of the degree of competency). The grading of student papers has never been a pleasant process–the students don’t like it and I don’t like it. However, I very much believe in the community college system and whether anybody likes writing, grading, test taking or not, the system represents an opportunity for many who would not otherwise have one. So I groan mostly when grading papers or dealing with administrative issues, but without the system I would groan about things a lot more. Somehow the quality of my life feels better when people are given opportunities.

So, I am still feeling pretty good.

It is my understanding that during the chrysalis stage when a caterpillar is shape-shifting into a butterfly, the caterpillar’s immune system attacks the newly forming butterfly parts as foreign objects. I’m guessing that caterpillar/butterfly is not in a state of heightened awareness while all of this is going on, a sort of ingrained safety issue. I imagine that a similar kind of “immune system” problem exists when a human being undergoes a transformation in their state of awareness–their old self attacks their new self. That’s got to be some rough times. Maybe this is why fetuses don’t remember coming into this world as neonates, or neonates remember becoming toddlers, and so on.

If one is alert while these changes are going on, I’m sure that there would be a lot of interference with the process. Thinking can sure muddle up the situation sometimes, though I’m not sure how we are supposed to affect emotional transformations or elevate desires and reflexes to another plane without higher-order thinking. We could just wait for emotions or desires to mutate, but we are already 2-million-year-old beings trying to grapple with 200-year-old technologies. I don’t think that emotions, desires, and reflexes are keeping up.

This seems to bring us back to openness and the willingness to be a fool, but to keep one’s dignity. The quality of our thinking is roughly equivalent to the quality of community college students’ writing struggles. But what else is there to do? We have the daily opportunity to deal with thinking instead of just letting “it” think. So, like my miserable emotional, cognitive, and linguistic meanderings of late, thinking can sure shrink wrap our mobility right into a behavioral cocoon. But there might just be a butterfly growing in there somewhere. And if we let it be safe, if we avoid trying to pull it back into caterpillar-dom, if we can avoid expending our energy trying to not look foolish and focus that energy onto the process rather than on avoiding certain inevitable steps in that process, perhaps we will learn a bit about metamorphosis.

And if we are going to change, that might be a useful bit of information.

Yeah, there’s a bit of a breather, and it is feeling pretty good.

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