Sunday, October 30, 2011

On How Some Things Change and Some Don't


"They say there'll never be
A girl like her again
With her socks up to her knees"

Flashback three years: A massive snow and ice storm hit Farmington. Classes were canceled, so I went to the beautiful library and read and studied. I was alone. Walking around this gorgeous building in my socks, listening to music, calling home on my cell phone. I never felt more isolated. Iceolated.

Now: A storm hit--Strange since it's just barely November. Probably a good foot on the ground, lots of trees down. The whole school is without power. The dining hall's serving food on paper plates, out of those trays catering companies use. There wasn't coffee this morning. Strong tea instead. The dorms have some power, but it takes some scavenging to find the positive outlets. We made radiator waffles last night, a huge hit on a floor of hungry girls. Creativity's needed in tight moments like this.

As I sat in a freezing classroom today, overlooking the picture-perfect lake, I began to write my essay by hand. (I've been using my laptop in 15 minute intervals to perserve battery.) How archaic--and yet it's been soothing. I needed some inspiration for my essay (a discussion of the religious elements of poetry throughout three separate eras.) So I relocated to the chapel. My absolute favorite building here. What is typically the coldest building on campus, drafty and open, was remarkably warm. I could hear the heaters creeping and cranking under the pews. I sat myself down, took off my boots, and stared down at the same fleece socks I wore when I trampled around in the library. But this time, my socks weren't my sole object of comfort. The wholeness of being here, of writing my essay in the chapel, of listening to some random preps playing piano and giggling in the front, of seeing faces in the hall, rather than desolation--all that stuff is changed from years ago. It's new. The socks, the search for comfort, not new. Just new in form--Thankfully.

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