Friday, June 20, 2008

Chapter Two

I'm about a month away from a plunge into a new experience. That's not the cause for the scarcity of posts from me of late. That dearth's due to projects under one of those "Can't Talk About Yet" designations, an umbrella that sounds more mysterious than it is. Rest assured there will be links and ordering instructions when the time comes.

The plunge is about higher education. I'm about to begin the pursuit of a master of fine arts degree. I guess I've actually begun, because I started some of the reading last night in fact, and the application approval process actually began in February. Charles and Wayne contributed letters of recommendation as part of it all. Thanks again from the blog, guys!

As with most new enterprises, there's uncertainty and apprehension, so I haven't put finger to keyboard about it until now, but it's exciting and growing more so, though it's tinged with the melacholy brought by the ebb of Daisy's days.

It's a low-residency MFA in creative writing, and thus I will work most of the time here at home at the same desk, developing a creative work while also reading and analyzing works of fiction, travelling twice a year to Washington state for on-site workshops and meetings. Kind of what I do anyway only with more intensity and deadlines. And a mentor.

It's something I'd looked into once upon a time, though I hadn't found a program close to home. I actually stumbled on this one from Goddard College while I was wandering the booths at Wordstock in Portland last fall. I picked up a brochure, contemplated it a while and ultimately sent in a creative sample and an application.

While I was at the booth last fall, I heard one of the program representatives discussing the worth of an MFA with another browser. He was curious about good it would do.

I don't have a tangible answer as far as expectations except that I hope it will edify and expand me. I'm open to what it will do.

The vibe I've received from the early readings and the schedule feel promising. They seem to hint I may be jabbed and prodded in new directions.

All for the good.

Christine was contemplating names for a blog of her own this week. I'll share that when it debuts, but I found the passages she sent along as she searched for a name to be profound for me as well.

One was Frost's "Road Not Taken." I guess I set off long ago on a less traveled path, eschewing business school and civil service and now MBA. Yet of in spite of those creative projects not named I've not been avoiding totally a Sisyphean corporate universe.

It would be easy to keep rolling my rock uphill only but frustrating as well. While I'm not leaving the day job, I'll be adding on this journey.

Thus the point of Christine's other profundity, the words from Anaïs Nin in the form of a poem called Risk that seem like my marching orders:

And then the day came,

when the risk

to remain tight

in a bud

was more painful

than the risk

it took

to Blossom.

As this experience unfolds I'll write you here of what I see.


Charles Gramlich said...

Good luck with everything. I'm looking forward to hearing that the mystery project is. I'm glad you decided to do this program. I bet it will open some intersting doors for you.

Steve Malley said...

That poem reminds me of the paying, "All ships are safe in harbour, but that's not what ships are for..."

Good luck with the MuFfA!

Kate S said...

How exciting, Sid - congratulations and good luck. Looking forward to hearing more about all of it - including the mysterious projects with links...

Erik Donald France said...

Awesome, man! You'll knock it out of the park, no question.

I applied to Warren Wilson once in NC, but it looked like third time was the charm there, maybe.

Three cheers!

Clifford said...

Good luck, my friend. Enjoy the journey...

Sidney said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts, everyone.

Lana Gramlich said...

Congratulations & good luck! I applaud your efforts. :) The poem is so very true. Often we are resistant to a change that isn't half as bad as we expect it to be!

Shauna Roberts said...

Best wishes as you weave your cocoon. I'm eager to see what butterfly emerges at the end of your program.

Avery DeBow said...

Best of luck with the MFA and the mystery project, I'm sure both will be spectacular hits.

As for pretty Miss Daisy, give her some catnip from me--if she's a stoner kind of kitty.

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