Friday, October 30, 2009

Mental break better than mental breakdown


Things have been pretty unsettled around here, what with coursework and ... well, mostly coursework. In fact almost exclusively coursework. And I seem to spend most of my bloggish time online pottering about on Facebook rather than reading actual, er, blogs. Or updating. Oh, well.

I am edging up to having to really truly start my applications to grad school. This is prompted by 1) actual deadlines, and 2) one of my professors enthusiastically wanting to recommend me. The prospect is, at the moment, making me want to put my head between my knees, throw up, and/or faint.

This week's epiphany (to the extent that I retain the capacity to have such things) was that a mental break from the incessant work is a very, very good thing. Necessary, to be more precise. Hooray for knitting group! s! It helped a LOT to go hang out at Javaroom this week. My time sense is absurdly compressed still, in the way of trauma survivors, but the knots in my neck and shoulders have eased a bit and I am slightly less crazed. The crazy is now down to a more functional level. I think.

There is a knitting project or two in progress, even: some socks, and a sweater from Knitty, both of which make for fairly mindless, comforting knitting. Yay. And I have a small pile of books to read for fun (as opposed to the pile of reading I must do for school - which is great stuff, but...well.)

Today's mail brought "The War that Killed Achilles," by Caroline Alexander, which I opened immediately and am now thoroughly charmed by. From the close of chapter 1:
"Thus, drawing on its long tradition, the Iliad used conventional epic events and heroes to challenge the heroic view of war. Is a warrior ever justified in challenging his commander? Must he sacrifice his life for someone else's cause? How is a catastrophic war ever allowed to start--and why, if all parties wish it over, can it not be ended?...These are the questions that pervade the Iliad. These are also the questions that pervade actual war."

Breathtaking, bracing analysis, a delightfully clear writing voice similar to what I aspire to on my best days - really fun. Yay, again.

Dinner out tonight, some breathing room, Halloween pumpkin purchasing on the schedule for the day. All's well. Cheers.