feeling small

It's one of those days where I'm feeling overwhelmed by all of the things going on, mostly because of the time in the semester. Everything is rushed; it's all piling up. I know it will work itself out; it always has. People will be disappointed. I will be late with handing back papers, assignments, responding to emails. It will be okay.

I feel, however, incredibly depleted. I wonder about where to find the motivation to push myself forward rather than to curl up and watch Gilmore Girls reruns. In the quiet, I ache. I am homesick, for the water, the smells and tastes of home. I long for familiar backroads covered in kudzu and thick with memories. I am homesick for my grandmother's kitchen, the one I remember from girlhood where she hasn't lived in years. I am homesick for the people around whom I relax, the ones who know me and who do not care about student evaluations, assessment, research potential or deadlines. I yearn for some version of myself who is not sitting at a computer in a classroom with tears rolling down her face.

I stumbled across this poem today and it pulled at me so I thought I'd share it with you.

Small Talk
by Eleanor Lerman

It is a mild day in the suburbs
Windy, a little gray. If there is
sunlight, it enters through the
kitchen window and spreads
itself, thin as a napkin, beside
the coffee cup, pie on a plate

What am I describing?
I am describing a dream
in which nobody has died

These are our mothers:
your mother and mine
It is an empty day; everyone
else is gone. Our mothers
are sitting in red chairs
that look like metal hearts
and they are smoking
Your mother is wearing
sandals and a skirt. My
mother is thinking about
dinner. The bread, the meat

Later, there will be
no reason to remember
this, so remember it
now: a safe day. Time
passes into dim history.

And we are their babies
sleeping in the folds of
the wind. Whatever our
chances, these are the
women. Such small talk
before life begins