Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Enough Fun, Enough

When I was little, my mom regularly used to say, “Young lady, you’ve had entirely too much fun for one day. Get busy on X (insert name of repellant chore here)!” As an adult, I’ve come to question her philosophy. Even though I know that unremitting joy ceases to be joy at all, I don’t want to think it’s possible to have too much fun, too much play, too much flow. And yet, there are times when Life just says, “Enough fun, enough.”

Today my beloved Izzie, the sweetest guinea pig ever, passed away.

As Izzie began to fail earlier this week, I was grieved by the shit life shovels. Absorbed in my own misery, I looked down the block to see my neighbor’s car in the driveway even though it was during her normal work hours. I realized that she wasn’t feeling well enough to work. Now that she’s in her third recurrence of cancer, each day she struggles with the ill effects of chemo and radiation. I can’t miss the significance of her opting to stay home; since her husband is in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis, she’s the sole support for her family. There’s just plenty of misery to go around in this life.

As I’ve been publicly struggling with end of life decisions for my pet, I’ve acknowledged more deeply to myself that my students battle their own griefs. Seeing as little of theirs as they usually do of mine, I often forget that. So even though I know it's right and good for me to have high expectations of them, I want to be sure those expectations don't amount to extra shit. Though it’s still too fresh to say where this line of reflection will take me, I do know that I feel a new determination to make sure my expectations are as fair, ethical, and pleasurable as I can make them. If I can help it, I do not want to be the person through which Life says “enough fun.”

In what ways can we, in our writing centered lives, be the ones who say, “More! More fun!”?

Roberta, Izzie's Slave


At 10:47 AM, Blogger Tamara Miles said...

I'm sorry to offer you little in the way of banter today; I've got some not-so-fun things to do on my list. However, I will share quickly that I had a great session with a student today. He genuinely learned some writing strategies and put them into practice, and he left here feeling more confident and capable. THAT was fun for me!

At 11:34 AM, Blogger theorris said...

You've hit a cultural suspiciton: if something is fun it is not worthwhile, and, in fact, is probably a waste of time. I know my father had that attitude; he came from a rather puritanical New England/Scottish background that firmly believed all fun was the devil's workshop.

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