28 April 2009

Time Travel

Let's see...I began this bright, sunny (and unseasonably warm day) by listening to the Beatles' "Good Day Sunshine" and "Here Comes The Sun" while eating my corn flakes. It's pretty hard to be in a bad mood after that, and I didn't try.

Even a trip to the dentist wasn't so bad. I had my routine cleaning and checkup, and the doctor warned me that I have an infection developing at the base of a root canal. My root canal teeth were nothing but trouble--until I had one pulled after I woke up in worse pain than any I experienced before the root canal.

Then, thinking I would arrive late a committee meeting at the college, I flew on my bike, only to find that I actually made it about fifteen minutes early.

After that was the best part of the day: The guest appearance I made at Professor White's History of Hip-Hop class. There, I talked about the poetics of hip-hop: the stuff I've been teaching in my course. I took them on a trip in my "time machine" to find the "beginnings" of the music: specifically, where the three-beat line came from. Most students were surprised to learn that a generation before Shakespeare, John Skelton wrote poems that consisted of rhyming trimetric lines. And he even began one of his poems with "Whyll I'll chylle."

My department chair came to the lecture. She seemed to like it, in spite of the fact I couldn't play some of the songs I wanted to play because the internet wasn't available in the room. It didn't occur to me that there would be any place in the college where I couldn't access YouTube, as I have from other rooms. Had I known that, I would have brought some CDs with me.

But it all seemed to go well enough. The students were certainly primed for me, and I was for them.

And throughout the day, various people said that I looked "radiant," "pretty" or simply "good." I know I was smiling, even as I grew tired in the evening class I taught.

Could it be that I'm finally bringing, or adapting, the things I loved in my past to my current life? I know I must, and want to, do more poetry readings and guest lectures. It seems that when I do such things--which are both creative and social--I cannot help but to transcend whatever has bound me. I am opened, whether or not I wanted to be--or, more precisely, whether or not I believed that is what I wanted.

So now I know that some of the things that got me here are going to help me move forward after all. They kept Justine alive when I was living as Nick; now I can live as Justine by honoring Nick in all of those things in which he kept my spirit alive, and which he left as legacies or even gifts for me.

Forward--transcend! OK, so you can't imagine some drill sergeant barking that his troops. Nor can I. But why would I want to? A march may have brought me here; now it's time for a journey.

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