Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lulls, textures and topographies

by J J Cohen

Dan Kline composed this eloquent comment for my rather melancholic post Small Summer Funk. I don't want anyone to miss it, because it is so perfect, and full of inspiration:
But I'd like to think that I - or we, as academics who likely have been overachievers most of our lives - need to allow ourselves these lulls, which often herald a renewed sense of personal thought or movement. Particularly when weighed against our personal relationships, there is always another article to read or book to review (!) or draft to massage, but there are only so many lazy, lovely summer days to loll about with a child or partner or friend and just let the day pass as it will ...
In the back of my mind, it seems like I'm always weighing opportunity costs - the time I spend doing this (lounging about, lolling, napping) is time I can't spend doing that (often scholarship or writing). I'm trying my darndest to quit tying time to any economy and just let it have these varying textures, contours, topographies rather than an end.
One of those lulls happens today as we (me, my kids, a friend) hike Sugarloaf, a monadnock about an hour from DC. A difficult school year ended for Alex and Katherine yesterday: kindergarten for one, seventh grade for the other. Getting out of the city and into the trees, rocks, and trails is necessary punctuation to a long nine months, the instigation of a summer that will pass (as they always pass) too swiftly. Yes, I could be writing about diamonds. But some lulls are too important not to embrace.

1 comment:

Simon Gruening said...

I personally most enjoy those lulls that end up turning into seminal thoughts and ideas. I started watching 'Supernatural' as an evening lull and it turned out to be so full of cultural heritage, even medieval heritage that I acutally don't even know where to start dismantling it.