If you’re a sidebar solicitor, you might have noticed recently the “Realms of Wonders” category list has begun to change–“Essays” is slowly vanishing (but not quite slowly enough) while new categories like “Poverty” and “Equality” have popped up. This, I’m afraid, is but a small echo of what’s to come–tidings of the new face of the Writingwolf that I simply cannot keep secret until the forthcoming reveal.
Category confusion strikes again!
However, instead of trying to subtly ignore these obvious alterations, I thought I’d take a moment to peer into the future (and look deeper into myself) and try to answer an important question that’s begun to bother me: Why are tags and categories all that important after all?
Today began early voting in North Carolina. I’ll be voting on Monday, but that’s besides the point: What matter today is that you can now take your voice and make it heard–locally and nationally.
I’ve been debating a long time with myself if I want to “go political” or not. It’s a part of me, and I can’t deny that, and it’s certainly been a part of this blog–none of us can deny that. However, I’ve worried about alienating readers, offending people or making erroneous claims that will hurt me in the end.
I’ve decided today that all of that? It’s stupid. It’s our obligation–yours as much as mine–to “go political,” and given the start of early voting, there’s no better time than now to do it.
I’ve mentioned more than I probably realize that lately I’ve felt remarkably lost. The irony is I’ve gone to a number of workshops, meetings, and speeches that have all talked about direction–and yet, at the moment, I feel very much like the zero vector: I have no direction and practically no dimension either.
If you’ve taken calculus or linear algebra, you can appreciate that.
If you haven’t–or even if you have–it’s only the starting point. There is much to follow, and much to learn from–and although it begins casually on campus, it ends with the words of America.
I cannot count how many times in the last week I have remarked that I wish I could have slept in longer. I cannot count how many times I’ve heard friends laud their schedules when they don’t have any classes that begin before ten in the morning. And, yes, I have some friends that sleep well into the afternoon–and on some days, I do, too.
It’s all for an obvious reason: Sleep is a good thing.
Like the elements of an unintended chemical reaction, things lately have been building toward an inevitable explosion–or worse, an irreversible meltdown. Between classes, uncertainties, and life changes, “chaos” even seems a kind descriptor of recent events.
Then, between today and yesterday, but mostly today, things were pulled back into perspective and I’ve had the power–the courage perhaps–to do what I haven’t in a long while: Write.
If you were fortunate enough to catch my trilogy on identity last week, you’re already aware that I’m in a state of questioning the role of religion in my life but also feel most Jewish in a state of study and discourse. However, my independent study has a crucial flaw compared to a true student of Talmud: I lack a chaver, a friend, a study partner. Rarely do students study alone–they work in pairs, bouncing ideas from one mind to the other until true learning has been achieved.
I lack a study partner, but thankfully, I have you–and I always welcome comments and discussions, always welcome additional voices filling the blank places of the internet upon which these words encroach.
No matter, the summer has returned in full force. Less than a month ago I graduated with my associate degree and in two months I’ll begin classes at a new college working towards my bachelor’s degree. In the time since I walked across the stage and turned my tassel, I’ve gone to the beach, been a guest at another graduation, spent more time playing video games than I have in the last eight months, and studied over Shavuot and spent some serious time in the study of introspection. All of this has only been preparation for my annual dive into the Pirkei Avot. This year I’m starting chapter three and I hope you’ll follow me on this enlightening journey.
Today felt sideways. I woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept (that’s nothing new, not anything untrue, but it’s the mindset I rose from: that someplace I was going to, on the edge of the horizon, still a blur but something, and I didn’t know where I was going, and I didn’t know how far until I got there–dreamstate, waking, that’s where I was). I got dressed. Left on time. Got to class.
For the first time all semester, programming didn’t come easily. Although I got my unicorns to whinny-whinny and NEIGH, how I got there was like a bridge I’d forgotten I’d crossed over. I could see the code, could emulate and imitate and remarkably recreate, but I could not just create. I could not start from scratch and get there. A piece was missing.
After class, I wanted to speak with my superior for a few moments, felt obligated to help clean up before I got anywhere else, but knew I needed something else. So I went where I had never gone before, a place I had only ever seen from the edge. My secret place.