Friday, August 26, 2022

Making a meringue of things

The end of summer can be a seismic shift for me. I go from days with nothing at all on the calendar to days that are end to end meetings and classes. There is no happy medium. It can be chaotic, and it always takes me a bit of time to find my rhythm.

This year it feels a bit like making meringue, as I gently try to fold my summer schedule into the coming academic year. When you fold egg whites into a batter you need to be gentle, and slow. Use too much force, beat them too fast, and the whole project utterly collapses. These are good lessons for life as well. Be gentle. Don't rush. Let the lightness balance out the moments that feel overwhelming and heavy. Sometimes it's enough to get things basically combined, but if one tries too hard for perfect uniformity, one can lose some of the spaces to breathe.

I have a heavy teaching semester coming, with three courses, including a writing intensive one with extra conferences for students. I'm still working on the tea book. I have a couple of other writing projects with deadlines staring me in the face. But I'm trying to keep some of summer's pockets of air folded in. Riding my bike back and forth to the college. Making time for prayer first thing in the morning. Taking a moment to catch up with the student or colleague I haven't seen since last spring. I may not be perfectly organized for the start of the new semester, but the goal is to let the  summer leaven the year, and to avoid collapsing the whole cake.

Now of course I'm craving an angel food cake, and maybe will give that a fly on the weekend. Or maybe a sponge cake with fruit?

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