Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Messenger (Sunday Scribblings)

     This prompt, in and of itself, is a messenger because it has arrived to tell me I should share about my messenger from last night. Is that coincidence, God, fate or supernatural? I don't know but it is still amazing when you ponder it.
     So I applied to UT Austin for graduate school and was not accepted. I have an application in for Simmons University in Boston and tomorrow I'm going to work on my application for Drexel in Philadelphia. Boston would be so great to explore and Philly is home so I'm not too upset about missing out on Austin but I am terrified that neither of these will work out either.
      So last night, in the midst of my worries, I'm wandering my room looking for something to keep me occupied. My mind was thinking of what to say at my Simmon's interview and then went onto a sidetrack thinking of all the amazing classes I've taken and the interesting discussions I was a part of in college. I am scared that I'm wasting time trying to get back something that is gone, that perhaps graduate school isn't meant for me although it's what I want. I'm just so impatient. I know that I might get rejected from Simmon's for the simple reason that I am a late applicant and they might very well accept me for the Spring semester instead but I don't want that. I want to get out of this town now.
      I'm thinking all this and million more thoughts while absentmindedly perusing my bookshelf. I have so many books. For some reason I thought of Ruyard Kipling's poem, "If" that I memorized in sixth grade. I pulled it out and was amused to find that I can still recite it 10 years or so later. From there I decided I was in the mood to read some poetry and started to see what books I had.
      Whitman, too taxing for the moment. Hughes, well I've read that a lot. Dickinson, nah. Shakespeare, no. Lowell, no I've had too much about history lately. Then I found a book of selected poems by Christina Rossetti. I remember we had read a few works by her in a Victorian Literature class and I had been drawn to her because I related to her inner conflict between depression and yet feeling that as a Christian she should have joy. She went back and forth between what she felt were her religious duties and her own desires. A friend had bought me a book of her work for Christmas that year but for some reason I never got around to it. Perfect time to start then.
      When I opened the book, this was the first poem,

A Pause Of Thought

by Christina Rossetti

 I looked for that which is not, nor can be,
And hope deferred made my heart sick in truth
But years must pass before a hope of youth
Is resigned utterly.

I watched and waited with a steadfast will:
And though the object seemed to flee away
That I so longed for, ever day by day
I watched and waited still.

Sometimes I said: This thing shall be no more;
My expectation wearies and shall cease;
I will resign it now and be at peace:
Yet never gave it o'er.

Sometimes I said: It is an empty name
I long for; to a name why should I give
The peace of all the days I have to live? --
Yet gave it all the same.

Alas, thou foolish one! alike unfit
For healthy joy and salutary pain:
Thou knowest the chase useless, and again
Turnest to follow it.

      Ok, perhaps it doesn't have the most encouraging conclusion but still I spoke to me. A message from a woman who has been dead over a hundred years, reaching across to let me know that I'm not the only one. Millions of people have been in the same place I am and have survived. It is not uncommon to feel that I'm chasing after castles in the sky but it doesn't mean that I won't reach them someday. Although I don't agree with everything Rossetti chose in life, I can still relate to so many of her inner conflicts that we are lucky enough to have record of through her poetry.

Sunday Scribblings #261 - Messenger


jaerose said...

What a wonderful's strange how words come to us and speak to does give a sense of universality and comfort..good luck with that form and always chase those castles..Jae

Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

The power of the written word.

I wish you a lot of luck. Don't give up. There are so many paths that can ultimately lead to your goal. The crime is not trying! Don't be discouraged, it will happen. It did for me.

Meryl Jaffe (PhD)

Lilibeth said...

Castles in the sky? Dreams? or rather Goals. Plans. Purpose. They are worthy and not just vapors to pursue. Keep following.

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