Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Swallowed Up...

I'm finally feeling better from my sinus infection, but have been knocked over the head and ignominiously dragged off into a cave by the assignments that were lurking outside my door while I was sleeping off the infection. They tell me, if I'm good, I can get out for Thanksgiving dinner and a few hours in October, but other than that, there's no chance of being let out for three more months. I feel like Jonah.

It's sort of warm in here, in the belly of grad school. Sort of womb-like, and comforting in a way (though there are emotions in here, they're not so frequent as in the world of creative writing). And it's not so bad, seeing around me by dim light. I know those shadows back there, in the corners, are tunnels leading to the concrete parts of the world I've left behind, along with those other worlds whose characters are waiting for me to bring them into a more concrete-ish existence in words.

I know there are people out there in the world, on vacations, getting errands instead of research for papers done on Saturdays, allowing themselves those odd distant things called "hobbies." Or at least allowing themselves to get that tire finally replaced on the car. Maybe I can stage a revolution in a week or so and bust out into the open air for some time--maybe even a Saturday--of non-grad school-related activities, maybe even some novel editing (while sitting at Goodyear, of course), once this presentation is done. It would be a daring expedition, involving much planning and diligence for me to not feel ridden with guilt.

See, the problem is that if I'm not careful, I'll be forming bonds with my captors (something to which my pattern of empathizing with my characters leaves me vulnerable). It's likely to happen any minute now...

5 comments:

Rodger Jacobs said...

Ah, the Stockholm Syndrome. It kinda sneaks up on you and suddenly one day -- wham! -- your captor is your best friend.

Been there, done that.

Glad the sinus infection is improving.

Deborah Leiter said...

Rodger: I know. And to make it worse, chances of escape are lessened by the adjustment one's eyes makes to the dimness of one's surroundings. After a long time in the candlelight, one worries that one won't be able to do anything in the bright sunlight but wander around dazedly.

Rodger Jacobs said...

This is why God invented Atavan and red wine and T.S. Eliot ... wait a minute, isn't Eliot one of your captors? Damn. Never mind.

Deborah Leiter said...

Rodger: No, Eliot isn't one of my captors during my PhD, sadly. This semester it's largely theorists: theorists of the conspiracy of rhetoric, of archival theory, of historiography.

You're right, though, about the occasional glass of red wine and large doses of Eliot. :)

Deborah Leiter said...

Of course, Ms. Practical Dutch Censor's response to that statement is: wine and Eliot are all well and good, but would the tire be repaired and the novel be edited after the process?