I've been feeling lately that I want to post to the blog, but don't have something sustained to say. I have a million thoughts running through my head on a daily basis, and every once in a while think, "oh, I ought to write about that on the blog." But then what I have to say only turns out to be a couple sentences. Not so much a post.
So I was wondering this morning: what's up with my brain? What seems to have caused this lack of ability to sustain a complex or deep thought?
I came up with a couple possibilities: I've been grading a lot. My students' papers, depending on the class, do indeed contain deep thoughts, but I have to move on relentlessly to the next paper, not dwell on anything for too long.
The more likely culprits seem to be Facebook and Twitter, and web-surfing in general. I have been nearly compulsive lately in checking FB & Twitter--and for no better reason than "what's new since the last time I checked?" I'm not even sure I enjoy it anymore. So they're going in time-out. Or at least in slowdown mode--I'm going to try to make a point not to check them more than once a day. I have a lot of reading that I had put aside because it's hard to read anything long during the semester (I'm usually reading boatloads for homework); perhaps it's time to give that material some attention. Sustained thoughts, sustained ideas--that feels like what I need right now.
In the meantime... here are some scattered photos from the past week or so, and some scattered thoughts to go with them.
Out and about
Recently we went to two events at my school that we really enjoyed: one was a fundraiser for the Bodo Initiative, part of Education for the Future Foundation. My dear former student Lydia Spitalny created Bodo after she spent a semester abroad in Kenya; Lydia is inspiring, and her work is changing lives. Here is a picture of a drum circle, at the end of the evening, that Dexter actually got brave enough to participate in. More cowbell!
And here is another evening in the same space just a week later: the annual Culture Fest. In this piece, our campus group Wafiki wa Afrika were presenting a song...
... and there was also some wonderful dancing from Pakistan and India!
At Dexter's school, the students presented a Veterans' Day concert that was quite nice. My favorite part was where they invited all the veterans in the auditorium to stand up, introduce themselves, and tell what branch of the service they were in and when...
I'm as liberal as they come, and yet events like this get me every time. After we got home, Dexter called Grandpa, Pop-pop, and Great-Granddad to thank them for their service.
Closer to home
Dexter must have had a growth spurt; either that or we haven't bought him clothes in a long time (distinctly possible). It seemed like he grew out of everything at once. So I've set aside the too-small stuff to take to the rez when I go back in March. Pirate has decided that Dexter's old socks make a lovely nest:
He's a sock pirate!
And speaking of happy, here's my teacup, complete with bloom:
Such a nice way to be greeted at breakfast time!
Let's talk about...
The weather here lately has been really weird. Warmer than I ever remember fall being, with three-ish-day spots of cold every now and then. And dry as a bone. Every time we get a little rain, with that warm weather, a couple flowers in the garden come back. They look confused.
Anyhow, here's a tree on campus that one day seemed to drop nearly all its leaves at once:
I was happy to catch sight of it before the leaf-blower crew came by, to have a chance to see the carpet of yellow leaves that belonged to that tree.
Look who I found in our driveway!
I can't remember whether a wide middle stripe means a long winter or not. And: is this wider than usual?
I have no idea...
Back out again
And, lastly, we are indeed turning toward winter, despite the weird warm temperatures. We went walking in a local park that features some meadows--places where the park folks are working on establishing some tall-grass prairies. I liked the splash of red we saw every once in a while among the blonde stalks:
Isn't this a beautiful color palette? We pay so much attention to the trees, but this field, it seems to me, was celebrating fall, too.
I hope you have a chance to celebrate fall, and to gather your thoughts.
Edited to add: the group's name is Rafiki wa Africa. I am a doofus.