In this moment, my heart bruised. I pull whole night skies over my toes, but one foot still falls out. And though you might think this dramatic, it’s the moment the real world knocked me over:
Before Roger died, he grabbed my mother’s hand and said, “I love you desperately.” There isn’t, Peabody, any time machine, but he tried to get back a little of the past. Did he? Can we?
Teaching from 2007-20015, I have decided—rather, circumstances decided—that I need benefits, I need to be invested in, and I need to find a career path that will assist my continued education instead of insisting that I continue (re: fund) my own education.
When I say this in my head, I cry outside of my head.
When I write this, it is more real and I think about deleting, but it is public, very public, to leave a profession you desperately love because there are bills to be paid and a sweet two year old wants, so badly, to eat strawberries. “All the strawberries,” he says.
For an instant, I re-noun myself and go by “she” or “Crouse,” or “Orser,” or even “Orser-Crouse.” But first person settles in the bones.
I want to write about the naming problem, the marriage problem, the identity loss: new names, new cities, new jobs…
About teaching, I will miss everything, but mostly the uncertainty. Moments when my students and myself switched places and had to accept that our roles, our “facts,” and our very ability to “solve” a problem required a certain acceptance of uncertainty. When the group settled into this, gave up the doe-eyed adoration of “objectivity,” we collaborated and experimented. There are sentences, in my classroom, so outrageously pushed to the edge(s). How long can we make our sentences? How short? How many commas can we use? And what of the em dash? Are the margins opening? Are there margins to begin with? I will miss the push to see how we can sound like ourselves, together.
Everything. All of it. I will miss all of it for the sake of sustainability, which never seemed to open even though I pulled 14-15 hour days and then went home to grade. My good heart stays with academia, my bruised heart moves outward.