Tuesday, August 15, 2006

To camp and back

I’ve been away from this blogging game for a couple of weeks now…First I was empty of bloggable thoughts, and then I spent a week at camp. Yes, that’s right. Camp for adults. Dance camp. My days looked like this: Eat ridiculously delicious breakfast. Dance all morning. Swim, sometimes read, sometimes have a drink in the sun. Eat heart-stoppingly good lunch. Read. Nap. Dance vigorously. Swim, read, sometimes have a cocktail-hour beverage. Eat astounding dinner. Dance all evening. Sometimes a post-dance skinny dip. Sometimes a party afterward. Sleep like a log.

It is a great thing to go to camp. At least this one in particular, which I’ve been to before. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt so carried away from my everyday life. Really, I forgot for a week that I had work to do. It occurred to me on Friday, the last full day, that there were these specific things I had to do upon my return, that in fact September and a new school year were nearing. I literally hadn’t thought about any of that for six days. Not even once. It’s positively therapeutic, living in the moment and in one’s body, not really emotionally invested in anything but having fun. Feeling productive, but not of research or writing or planning…productive of something for your body, and of the connections with other people that can be had through that.

Now that I’m back, having arrived home in the middle of the night on Saturday, there are different pressures. A week of dancing has taken a surprising toll on my body, and I’m hobbling around with joints screaming their protest. I went for a run last night, and my legs weren’t ready for that, apparently, and now I feel as if my bones are going to break apart. I have horribly vivid images of my shins just splitting in two, lengthwise. Charming.

And then there is that strange mixture of apprehension, excitement, and resentment that seems to hit many academics around the middle of August. I was struck, in my catching up on blogs, at how many people are feeling unmotivated and lethargic. Back from camp and into the real world of plans and deadlines and the upcoming year at a new university, I feel the same way. I want to hold on to something of the summer. But at the same time, given my excitement about having a job at the new university, I am finding myself impatient with summer routines and ready to dive in there. None of this is conducive to work…it’s fragmenting and confusing.

Ah, well. I shall go and read a book I’ve been needing to get to, in order to write an upcoming conference paper…starting back to work is always the hardest, and I look forward to that moment when I’ve slipped back into those work-ish patterns of thinking without even realizing it…

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