Distance, limits, boundaries: I seem especially concerned, even tense and anxious, these days around the connections between myself and other people. This, of course, after ages of lamenting that I am too alone – but perhaps partly as a result of that, I'm struggling not to experience other people as painful chores, as demanding and hopeless, Sisyphean, tasks. As though everyone wants things, and yet they are never satisfied: and the echoes that I get back seem especially unfulfilling for me at the moment.
Perhaps this is simply the larger resonance of such things as being an introvert, being too long alone, living in a place whose colors are naturally across the dark grays (because of the weather here). Not to mention a simple response to the pressures of new classes, new students: despite the admitted masses of time that we academics get to ourselves, the times when we must engage do tend to be high-pressure ones: all those young people, all their emotional demands, all the need to get everything right.
It's such a cliché, to quote lyrics that resonate with one's own mood, but – Porcupine Tree again: 'Buying New Soul' –
I still wave at the dots on the shore
And I still beat my head against the door
I still rage and wage my little war
I'm a shade and easy to ignore
White wall, I had to paint a door
I always find that I've been through it before
Close it up and throw away the key
Break the code, how happy I could be
I suppose I do wave at the dots on the shore; but with the half-felt hope that they won't notice me....