I wander into the throng of people, past the long table covered in delicious-looking food, and into the gallery. I haven’t been in this building in nearly two years; the tile floors and walls of windows remind me of creative writing classes and theatre monologues and my first interview for college admission.
Now I’m twenty-four years old and attending the senior project of a fellow lit-journal friend. I’m not sure who I’ll run into, who will glance at me from across the room and smile (or not smile). I rarely like to read about the projects first – the words get all tied up in my mind and crowd out what my eyes are seeing – so I skip ahead and look at the repetition of trees and brick building edges. In the center is a dark, tiny room, with illuminated manuscripts meticulously created. Candles flicker, and I want to reach out and touch despite the “Please Do Not Touch” sign.
I know it’s hers when I see the faces, familiar faces that I can’t put names to. The oil paintings watch us as we gaze, and I’m shocked at the enormity of time and material and space this takes up.
[My senior thesis was “Poetry and Music”, a mere hour and ten minutes of my hardest and best and most exhausting work. English, German, Italian : aria, song, jazz. That was two years ago.]
I know why I’ve come when I run into an old professor, a man who sat across from me in a Salzburg coffee shop and didn’t have to pretend he was interested in our conversation. We stand talking, he, his wife, another art professor, and I.
Teaching Latin at a Christian school. Love it.
THIS. or THIS. or THIS.
You’ve got the moxie for that.
And even though I’ve never heard the word “moxie” other than soda, I know what it means, and I smile.
So it can be done! You did it – taught and created and studied – and now look at you! Yes.
My fear of being the one who “had so much potential” but never quite cut it ebbs as I see the lack of concern in their eyes.
We do not actually know it, but we sense it: our life has a sister vessel which plies an entirely different route. While the sun burns behind the islands.
– “Blue House” by Tomas Transtromer