A year and a half after graduation and a year and a half into campus ministry.
I have no one to appall when I say I have never read James Joyce that I have never heard of this week's poet coming to read. In fact, no one asks what I'm reading anymore. There are no deadlines I miss if I don't blog on a given week. I can't remember exactly that Lyotard said about literary theory and I only remember the name "Stanley Fish" because the name was always so unique. I wouldn't know where to submit poem if I had actually cleaned one up recently.
I have a different kind of life than I had a few years ago. I miss it. I do. But I've also found a great many other things to love.
I do have someone to tell me what it is like to help give birth to a calve and where on the dairy farm she buried her first cow. I have someone to tell me the study of light and what she's learned about God in the calculations of daylight in architecture. And another tells me which roads to bike down on clear days. I hear stories of roommate conflicts and I hear stories of wedding proposals in pumpkin fields. In the range of my own evenings and days, making soup and hosting meals, having meetings in Webster's Cafe, dancing and learning to teach dance in afternoons, I get to see. I see people. I'm asked to watch and know and care. It's a job full of real things. It goes against my natural tendency to hide in ideas, sorting the farming of my own thoughts without the voices and lives of others.
It's like having a network of spies, out of my settled mind. Spies into the promised land, like Joshua and Caleb, bringing word of things that are both good and unnerving. Spies on life; real living; stories worth telling. Through my students I know more life than I can live.