Mientras Tanto

19 11 2010

The brilliant gleam of the new in Madrid has worn thin: the seductive beckon of unremarkable routine can offer too attractive a monotony to brush off like it ain’t no thang. Yet the medley of thangs continues, relentlessly, to occur, whether or not it falls subject to meticulous blogging.

The conversation of how to intermingle working with minors in a government-funded position with the Rights of the Blogger has come up several times, always concluding on a similar note: best to avoid it. I attribute part of my pause in daily wordiness to that phenomenon; this enormous part of my experience here has got to be treated as a bit of a delicate taboo. It isn’t that there’s anything specific I’m omitting – very few students ever get thrown in the Chokey, at least at José Luis Sampedro – but the weight of what I necessarily represent given my unique position can loom, heavy and ominous, when I consider regaling my clamoring international readers with sordid tales of what those sweet little beasties did this time, goddammit.

The other day, I noticed with alarm the extreme frequency with which I was talking about my job while not actually working, and made a pact with myself to immediately staunch that particular river. It grows more obvious with each day: teaching English is a means for me. That’s not what my Fulbright Personal Statement would have you believe, but let’s be straight up here (Straight BlogTalk with Torkington: Like It Ain’t No Thang). With each day, I’m allowing those myriad ingrained traditional understandings of What I Ought To Be Accomplishing With My Life to wither, and doing my damnedest to concentrate all my love and energy on unfurling leafy tendrils into self-development. I am a writer, I am a photographer, I am a chef, I am a linguist – but, more importantly, I am happy, day-to-day and long-term, in a way that makes sense for me specifically.

How ’bout THAT for stinky cheese, dear readers?

It’s okay to be a bit jealous. Let’s go out for cañas and we’ll talk about it.

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4 responses

19 11 2010
Rich

You are winning the battle mi hija! Countless thousands embrace the monotony and wake up thirty years later wondering where it all went. That we must entertain a daily productive routine is perfectly noble, but to lose sight of how it fulfills, how it supports a higher goal, is to quietly and ignorantly fade to black. Oh, you are winning the battle my love.

See what happens to my writing after I read yours?

23 11 2010
contomates

the overwrought erudition epidemic is spreading! quick, contain it before it hits hollywood!

22 11 2010
Alice

Oh Janel, what memories you bring back! I remember my student teaching days just before I received my teaching degree. The “sordid tales of what these sweet little beasties did this time” taught me that I really didn’t want to teach (at least not seventh and eighth graders).

So, I followed my interests and went to work in the Mead Johnson Research Library that I didn’t even know existed. I just loved going to work in the morning………….never missed a day in 30 years.

You are likely right. It just “Ain’t No Thang”!

23 11 2010
contomates

i keep being reminded of dr. seuss – “oh, the places you’ll go!”

this is just one destination along the way. the next calling point hasn’t made itself clear yet, but when it does, i’ll know the way.

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