Monday, September 29, 2008

No title, no resolution.

I. An employee was sitting in my office today, asking me to look over a grant application. I couldn't really do it, since I will be involved in deciding whether she gets the grant later, but I told her I would be happy to just listen to her describe her project to me and ask questions.

She started and I listened. It was fascinating, so naturally I jumped in every now and then and inserted a little comment or inquiry. She would cock her head and her eyes would get big and then she would tear into the answer. It was a great conversation.

She stayed a long time, and when she got up to leave she said she knew I couldn't be her mentor, given our relationship, but that the talk had made her think of me that way.

I just said "Oh, E, all I did was prime the pump. All that stuff was in there, dying to come out. It's a miracle I didn't get washed away once you opened up and let it go!"

II. I don't prime the pump in other people's lives enough. It's hard to get things going just enough and then to shut up. To let them come to their own conclusions in my presence. To bear witness to their shivering into an answer without wrapping them up in my ready-made cloak of authority.

III. I walk around a lot and I've begun to mark my walks by what I find in, on, or near chain-link fences. They're like see-through memorials, these fences. Sometimes I stand at a fence and wonder who left all the stuff there, the litter, the remnants, the discarded. I wonder if they were sauntering parallel to the fence and just dropped something distractedly, or if they walked right up to the fence, perpendicular-wise, acknowledged the barrier, and just said "well, I can't continue. I'll leave this here as a sign of where I gave up." I wonder where they all are now; whether they made it to the other side.

This is one of those blogs without resolution.

For you musicians, I'm sorry to leave you hanging on a 7th. ; )

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