Friday, September 23, 2011

Living on the edge of the world

And that's it.  The week is done, and early tomorrow morning I'm off to Japan.  It's been a remarkably stress-free preparation; I had my lists, I had my tasks, I had all the deadlines.  Most of them got done, some were foiled through no fault of my own.

What comes next is also not something I can fully control.  My bags contain multiple copies of my conference presentation, maps, directions, receipts, and schedules.  But I am just a participant in this event, just as I am just a passenger on the plane.  I really need these periods when I am not in control -- when I am an audience, or playing a role in someone else's production.  It used to be very difficult for me; I worked myself into knots wishing I knew more about what was going on, or wondering if I could trust the people running the show.  Now, although those tendencies are still with me, I see these occasions as opportunities to relax and focus on something else.

I still have a to-do list for the long transpacific flight -- an iPad full of freshman papers to grade, a presentation next month to prepare.  I'd prefer to have my choice of leisure activities, but with a fourteen-hour flight, there's probably plenty of time for leisure and work both.  The vacation for me is knowing that I will have to grade when I have the chance, e-mail the work back whenever internet is available, and if circumstances conspire against any of those obligations, they'll just have to wait.  Blogging will have to wait, too; don't expect me here daily for the next week, although I'll try to find a chance to write every day and post later.

See you on the other side of the world!

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