Last night, I dreamed that I was in a clearing in a forest, and my wife was below me, yelling that I should fly higher to avoid danger. It was nighttime, there were some stars. I felt scared as I rose, but then I felt very happy, because my wife joined me over the forest, and we escaped along the mountain ridges.
It is a dream I have not had in so long. It is the kind of dream that I’ve missed having, one that I had so many times before when I was a young boy. Most of you have probably had this dream as well: the flying dream. Yes, when I was little, I often dreamed that I could fly. In my dream, I floated out of my room, down the stairs to the landing at the front door of our house, and outside.
It’s been a long couple of weeks for me, slogging toward the end of my teaching semester. I’m coming to you live right now from the basement of Murray Hall, New Brunswick NJ, for probably the last time until September. It’s a nice little office, as windowless cold rooms go, but I can’t say I’ll be sorry to be apart from it all summer. Anyway. Yesterday I finished grading my students’ last homework papers, and in a half hour I give them their final, which I spend all of tonight and tomorrow grading, so I can be done by Wednesday. What does all this mean? It means that I had a bit of time this morning to actually read something that wasn’t student work. So I whipped out my copy of NOON, uncapped my Krispy Kreme coffee, settled into my window seat, and picked up where I left off.
May 5th, 2009 / 1:44 pm
(Did you miss Part 1?) Yesterday I taught Ernest Hemingway’s very short story “A Very Short Story” to my English 101 class. It was a pretty successful venture, I think. After teaching the story twice in as many hours, I got on the 4:26 New Brunswick->Penn Station train, and read “Pet” by Deb Olin Unferth.
There may not be quite a PhD dissertation to be written on similarities between Hemingway’s and Unferth’s work, but all the same, I found myself dwelling on how my two tours through “A Very Short Story” seemed to have primed me for “Pet,” which I heard Unferth read once but hadn’t yet myself read on the page.
April 9th, 2009 / 11:54 am