Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I had a jukebox graduate for a first mate, she couldn't sail but she sure could sing

I need to actually plan these posts beforehand, instead of writing just out of a sense of duty.

I no longer think of myself in student terms. I no longer think of life in student terms. That was an accidental pun. See, from the earliest age at which you can actually comprehend and remember the passage of time, your life's organised into these neat little passages; school days, weekends, half-term ("reading" weeks), Christmas and summer holidays. And the longer you stay in this world, the harder it is to break out of.

So once you graduate (assuming you can find full-time work - obligatory recognition of current economic climate), summer comes and goes without you noticing. Bank holidays creep up on you as they're no longer bookended by longer periods of time off. I used to look at calendars as though they were graphs. Holidays were peaks, school days and terms were troughs. For the last year a calendar has been my enemy; counting down irregular periods between visits and trips to America.

Now my calendar is like Robert Frost's path through the woods (I had to get some acknowledgement of my American Literature degree in there, really). Jesus, I can't do metaphors well, can I? If someone tells you metaphors are easy they're talking... as though... they're, um, a walrus with a degree in bullshit? See? If you're not in the right frame of mind you shoot for Wodehouse and end up knee deep in Mills and Boon. Hey, that one was alright actually. But I digress.

I'm not sure this is the road less travelled; plenty of people have married and moved abroad before. With the exception of the various indigenous tribes, ALL Americans are immigrants. I'm nothing new. There are no more trails to blaze. But like all good road-trips, the destination isn't as important as the journey. And making sure you have an excellent selection of tunes.

I've wandered again from the calendar imagery, but that's ok. It was a poor example. I was leading up to a point about my (our) untethered life from here on out. Frost's yellow wood is a sketch on a canvas, and it's open to change, re-interpretation and remixing, to put it in a contemporary context. There's this plan, that involves a wedding, and a move to San Francisco, and an eventual move back to the UK. But I don't know yet how this will pan out, when it will happen, how we do it. And this doesn't matter. Sticking to plans before you know the lay of the land will get your men gunned down the moment they step out of the trench. Yeah, war metaphors now. See what I meant about planning posts?

How about a nice quotable phrase? Here's one for the "what they said this week" section of a Sunday paper:

"Stress happens when life refuses to acknowledge your plans."

That's an original, but you can use it if you like. It's probably an adaptation of something someone else has already said anyway. Probably Winston Churchill, dude was a badass.

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