”So I turned around and walked to my room and closed my door and put my head under my pillow and let the quiet put things where they were supposed to be.
Ah I love this quote so much. It so perfectly describes what I’ve been trying to do this weekend. This summer has passed by in such a rush and in one month it will be over and I’ll be up in Vermont, starting school and with it, a new chapter.
While the official work for school doesn’t start until a month, I have to do all the hardest work now. Which is to prepare my brain for the discipline of daily study and reflection, to cultivate quiet creativity, to draw energy from my surroundings.
What the quiet told me to do this weekend was to simplify and disconnect in order to engage in the world in different ways. To make positive habits that I can (realistically) continue up in Vermont. To purge the habits that I don’t want or need anymore, as I purge the literal stuff that’s holding me back.
The physical purging is the easiest part - I finally went through all my boxes of papers and stuff from my college apartment, that have been sitting in storage for over a year. In the midst of all the stuff that made me question, why the hell did I think this was worth packing, I found a few things that I’m so glad were still there. The print photographs and letters from my first trip to Pune. A poem from my high school boyfriend and the paper carnation that came with it. The beautiful flower folders from freshman year, holding a fraction of the stacks of essays or readings I created and consumed in four years.
I also found a memory that once, I was not always worried about the future, or about getting hurt. I was once a girl who fell in love without fear of rejection, the girl who got mix tapes for every occasion. I was always excited to learn and figure out what things meant. I could dive into projects of a depth and randomness that is astounding to me now - how else could I have accumulate a hand-calligraphied page from genesis (in latin, not that I could read it) AND a painting about honor killings and a bookshelf full of classics like ALIVE and 1776?
Thinking about these things has reminded me that learning didn’t always involve a xeroxed packet of densely-worded prose or a notebook filled with worksheets. It was creative and fun and engaging. I gave time to it because I liked doing it. And that’s what I’ve got to reengage with when I go to grad school. Its a participatory model, meaning that I have to direct my own education (especially when it comes to language learning). So I’ll be writing down these ideas and figuring out what and how I want to learn in these next few weeks.
Its amazing how much the quiet let me do, once I finally turned off the noise.