As this month of August rapidly progresses towards a close, I am about to begin the second year of my MFA. I do not know what this year will bring, but I’m sure it will be filled with unexpected twists and turns and things that I cannot now even begin to imagine. This is always how it turns out.
What I do know is that for the first time in my life, at the age of 51, I’ll be living in a dorm on campus. I’m looking forward to the quiet reprieve from city life. I am not looking forward to the hours of commute time for weekends at home, but it will all be worth it, I hope, on both ends.
And I also know that I will have some very challenging classes including a teaching practicum, but I am very much looking forward to these opportunities to learn and to studying with the amazing faculty who will lead these courses. And don’t even get me started on the other students. They are amazing and I learn just as much from them as from the professors, and that is the simple truth.
In fact, I haven’t really written in a while because, despite my best intentions, I did not get much writing done over the summer. I had hoped to work, as well as write, but life never seems to turn out how you plan, but, at least in my case, there are always unexpected journeys.
What I did do over the summer was to spend two weeks working in Togo and several more weeks learning a whole new branch of work in public health which was fascinating, to say the least. And just last week, for more of the same work, I got to spend a week in Bangkok, one of my favorite cities.
What nobody could have anticipated was the bombing that occurred while I was there. I was not involved nor was anyone I know personally, but I was just a couple of stops away on the sky train when it happened and it is only now that I’m back in Brooklyn that I realize just how much I’d been holding my breath all of last week. This is a pattern in my life, to be just on the edge but never in the midst of tragedy.
I feel overwhelmingly blessed for that, as I have written before, both because I have been spared but also because I have lived so fully. And so tonight, I breathe out and release a bit of that residual energy and prepare myself for yet another unusual adventure: year two of my MFA. If nothing else, I always have something to write about!
Stay tuned for more writing as my semester and life progresses, and may the rest of your summer be quiet and restorative.