Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin


I tend not to recognize just how busy I am until I have a day off, when it becomes almost painfully apparent. Writing here, for me, is now a luxury, a kind of leisure activity.

Today, with biology class over, and having practiced dance in the afternoon, I had an evening to myself. Which, I say with some regret, I spent surfing the internet, eating two types of noodles for dinner, and reading a few of my archived entries. Mostly the first activity.

Rather than ease the writing of this entry by giving a laundry list of happenings and future events, I try to push myself to find some words I haven't said before, to express a thought not yet written by me. I sometimes feel that writing after a long absence is like turning the handle of an unused faucet. At first, the pipes shudder and heave, bring up only air. Then, sputtering, the faucet disgorges murky jolts of iron-infused water, fetid with the smell of stillness. Only then, after the worst has been shoved through, does the water flow fresh and clear.

When writing so seldom, I often am never at the point of clarity. The thoughts and voices swim darkly, filled with brine and mineral.

This darkening imagery accompanies the brightest of seasons, when we turn our clocks forward, when the explosion of flowers and trees fills the air with the tiny micro-spots of pollen. It isn't quite right, then. Life renews, as it is wont to do, and the air warms. Despite the abundance about me, I feel flat and fallow. Events - dance competitions, exams, project deadlines, journeys - they whirl past but do not hold.

I often wonder what life I've chosen, that it feels so fervent, the pace so quick. Sometimes, driving to work, I catch glimpses of the hills brightening. Stopped at a light, I find myself feet away from a single tree in the median. It leaves are green and sharp. They arch, self-devoted, and I catch my breath at the rhapsody.

Well, perhaps this time I really have committed too much. Perhaps this time I won't be able to carry through with everything. But more than ever, I feel that in each commitment are people supporting me, people who I've entered into agreements with. So I honor them. Too cryptic? I'll put it this way: I've always felt closely tied to those around me. I've often felt that their happiness was far beyond my own well-being. And though as I've aged, I've learned to explore the world for myself, and I've gravitated towards things that make me happy, I intrinsically try to do what enjoy most - share my exuberance with the world. But I also become brusque about it, ashamed to show it too much, unconvinced that someone would be interested in this joy simply for the fact of it. I draw inward.

Ah, there I've gone now. Written too much without subtlety. Well, such is my lot when I've made such choices. Look, O elusive joy, this is what I've missed.
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