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

The intense certainty of now

Career Services at Fuqua sent us a powerpoint presentation today. One of the slides, "Employment is inevitable."

I read a poem by Valerio Magrelli, and it says, "Tomorrow morning I will take a shower, / nothing else is certain but this."

I have my first "break" from the head-down flailing today, and I choose to spend it watching Ben and the Green Devils play IM soccer on the Sarah Lynn and K.D. Kennedy JR Indoor Turf fields. They gleam with artificial daylight, smelling faintly of paint and vinyl.  I feel out of place here with my laptop and corporate finance book, like a hermit crab in the Alps. This day has been dizzying, but my midterm today was strangely satisfying. Fun, even. I startle myself - me? A finance lover?

Last Saturday, I stepped onto the floor in Baltimore, Maryland, and competed. Not so long ago, that wouldn't have been such an occasion. But these days, the competitions are few, and my last was in March of 2010. Even now, sitting here with the cavernous echoes of a team encouraging each other through play after play, I am carried back to my own sensation of being on the floor, swinging.  And now, I am a rowboat with my oars shipped. The ripples of my own momentum rocking me, and I drift for a moment, directionless.

This is the first day when I feel the freedom of empty time. Though in the past week, I have noticed sweet small moments returning to me. I wake and the sky is stained like a cocktail drink, ruby red swimming up from a rising sun. On an absurdly warm day the trees start pushing out buds, rusty maroon with promise. And at night, an enormous moon snags in the branches of the Duke forest, a full pitcher of molten gold.

At the Museum of Natural History in DC, I learned about the discovery of deep-sea vents, around which life teems. They live, somehow, on the chemical energy of dissolved minerals, fed by archaea - one of the oldest single-celled microorganisms - in a strange process called chemosynthesis. Until 1977, scientists had no idea that these reefs crawled with pale lobsters, red and white tube worms, and clams. Unexpected, indeed. 

I keep my eyes on New York, but Ben and I talk about what it would be like to live together in Durham. And so I've stopped making predictions about what will be. My calendar is filled to the brim with meetings and social events, but I no longer hold them to expectations. I breathe as one with the passing of days, the air swimming inside of me, my mind on nothing but the intense certainty of now. 
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