Why did I not recognise this when I was 15? I own all their records: you'd think it would have dawned on me at some point.
Although I could spend all night (really!) discussing the relative merits of 80's bands, I will save that for another post (I make you dread that I'll recite them, too). Instead I will begin this post by saying, Sewing is addictive. Tonight I decided that I'd sew in the placket on the other sleeve on the shirt I'm working on (I did the other last night), since I hate sewing plackets, and this way they'd both be out of the way (that's a placket on the right,incidentally). And indeed I did sew in the placket, but once I'd done that I figured I might as well attach the sleeve, and once I'd done that I thought I might as well tidy up the edge-stitching on the collar...and I had to forcibly stop myself before it went on all night.
Before there was the sewing, though, there was the tidying of
the living room (which means that tonight's photo will be a view of my no-longer-shameful living room), and before that there was the teaching of "Ode on a Grecian Urn" to my survey class. And the teaching of that poem got me to worrying about something I've worried about before - or it might be more accurate to say thinking about something I've thought about before. I sometimes think I use my classes as substitute boyfriends. When we did "Ozymandias" the day before yesterday, in order to get the students to think about the difference in importance between heads and feet I told them the story (which I have told to other classes) of how, when I was figuring out what I'd like to have happen to my body after I die, I was in something of a quandary, because I wanted both the ecological and memorial benefit of a grave, but also the drama of a scattering of ashes. Also, I thought, what if there's bodily resurrection? If you're cremated, there's no body to resurrect. My solution to these issues was to decide that I would be cremated from the waist down, because if I came back I'd undoubtedly want my head, but I could manage without my legs.
I never mind telling this story, and the students never seem to mind hearing it - they find it funny, and I consider it to be an eminently sensible thing to think about and resolve - but sometimes it strikes me that this is the sort of revelation that, really, you share with your partner. As are a number of the daft personal stories I tell or explanations I give to my students (The Kettle Story; The Human Soul Looks Like a Tissue Story; The Chin Up in Ballet Story; The Stories About My Dad). Only once have I ever crossed the line and told a story for self-indulgent reasons, but still there's a part of me that thinks I'm sharing with the wrong people.
This is a curious one. There are many things I don't share with friends because I believe that they're things I should only share with a partner, so I just leave them unshared. And I have been trained by - or had my best experiences as a student with - teachers who told deeply personal stories as ways of making points. But sometimes I worry that, as a result of those two things perhaps, the most intimate relationships I have in my life are with groups of people I'm paid to educate.
Of course, I'm most truly myself when I'm teaching. So the intimacy perhaps already exists, before I even tell these stories.
And here is the photo of my living room:
I picked out that colour for the walls. They're pale butter yellow, because the room gets almost no outdoor light, and this makes it seem both bright and cozy. If you look to the left, you can see the sewing machine, forcibly at rest. This is not the only possible view of my living room, which has assets as yet unrevealed. Wait for the next photo!