Posts tagged ‘B.S. Johnson’

8 January, 2011

Hmmm… transience

I am not promising a revival of this outlet, but I think there is something to be noted about the transience of time and, in related news, of my personality from time to time. (Please note the two year gap between entries…)

There is something inherently vagabond about my body, mind, and personality. I grew up knowing, more or less, that my people have no problem picking up and moving– across town, across states, across countries. I also grew up knowing what it was like to stare dramatically out of the back window of a car as you drove away from home for the last time. Over time I’ve grown to be better about accepting that “leaving feeling”– I can keep my stiff English upper-lip in front of others, then drive away screaming where no one can see me. I swear that’s better, really.

There are other forms of transience, too, though. Several of my friends are familiar with the odd habit I have of literally dropping things. It’s as if my hands are bored of holding onto something, so they let go. They move on– except, hmm, we weren’t supposed to let go yet. This happens a lot with pens. I have the need to walk around with pens in my hand (yes, sometimes more than one), especially while I’m lecturing or teaching.

Where jobs are concerned, I will say I tend to be good at what I do. I will also say I tend to not do what I do for more than a few months at a time. This kind of transience will probably have to end soon, which is regrettable. I’ve had a bizarre, wonderful variety in jobs– I’ve worked for a city historian, a zoo, a college admissions office, a professor as her personal assistant, a design studio, a library, three different schools, an art institute, a crisis hotline, and now a literary publisher. I learn wonderful things, I meet wonderful people.

In another way, I am anchored down, at least until June, waiting for the next plot point on my meandering life’s journey. In the mean time, friends are scattering to the wind– California, Las Vegas, Indiana, Massachusetts, Colorado, Sweden, England, Zambia… on one hand, it’s comforting to know that my friends are going brilliant places, seeing wonderful things, and spreading out to find their own niches. On the other hand, who will I eat Korean/Indian/Thai/Vietnamese/Moroccan food with?!

More and more, I’m accepting, I have little to say in the direction of the world. I can throw a rock, but with aim like mine there’s no telling what it’s going to hit.

They made us suffer for learning. That’s the way they wanted it.

-B.S. Johnson The Unfortunates.