Out of class, with students and their potential paper directions, writing a thesis in under ten words, me suggesting it should be that or less— short, contained, declarative. I urged them to stay active and not stop, to always write in the journal they keep on their person, what I refer to as the “You Journal”, and stay connected to what they want to say. After class a returning-student from last semester coming to me with the dilemma of paper direction— “I don’t know if I should get into Kerouac AND Buddhism, and religion, or …” I counseled him to focus on Kerouac, and to suggest that the lack of direction is the direct, or sense in Kerouac’s life. Hard to recover in memory everything we covered, but the discussion following session was just as kinetic and connected as the collective with entire body. As well, urging they trust their first inner-push, be tireless, to just start writing, worrying about polishing later. There’s more composition in the whim than in the template, I said. Urged them to keep changes minimal, with where they want to go argument-wise. This is just how I teach, with endorsement of disciplined freedom, a reaching rhetoric autonomy.
Yesterday I thought about how people speak about wine in the tasting room, and outside, how some visitors are so preoccupied and pinned by their worry of what language to use. “I don’t know the right wine words for it…” Someone a few months ago said. I thought, ‘right’ wine words? Who’s to say what’s right, what’s proper or sophisticated. Like with students that overthink their initial ideas so much before expanding upon a potential topic they have no topic or direction at all nights before final submission. With these tasters, they’re so daunted by how to talk about it they barely taste, if at all enjoy. We need to just act, not think so much, but act. Be active. Move. Otherwise, no life. There’s just worry. Do you want to be at the drawing board forever, or do you want to create?
We have to be tireless. We have to be so dedicated to our work and our experiences that when exhaustion does set it we simply deny its presence. Ignore it, completely. And why not. The purpose is to live, not exist. To not be too planned. To be wild, a beneficial madness that we let lasso itself around our characters and frames, our mind-frames… to view this as a sort of game— blend of chess, checkers, football, boxing, swimming, sailing, marathoning. Wines I sip at home have me researching, researched, a dialogue doting on search’s intrinsic aspect— How’s that. It’s beautiful. It’s realized and actualized, “actuated” as I always say, resplendence. This morning taught me, reminded me to keep with my teaching, that every morning and succeeding set of minutes and moments are standalone pieces that will teach. Like my student after class, I have more sight, more direction, and not from what I “taught” him, or taught myself, but what the moment and interaction with that moment imparted.