The 2021-2022 school year is now officially over for me, and with my first day of summer vacation comes a great deal of excitement at the prospect of being able to write again. I’m especially looking forward to getting back into my exploration of the intersection between Kierkegaard’s treatment of the problem of existence as an individual, and George MacDonald’s treatment of the same problem in his Unspoken Sermons and Lilith. In particular, this summer, I hope to finish the revision of my paper, “Preliminary Notes on the Riddle of Self in Lilith.”
In addition, I’ve just concluded my long-term personal project of memorizing all 103 selections in Rabindranath Tagore’s English Gitanjali, his great anthology of translations in poetic prose from his Bengali works of spiritual poetry, including from the original Bengali Gitanjali. I undertook this project as a way of immersing myself in Tagore’s words, as a gateway to future study. Such has been their impact on me that my goal is eventually to learn Bengali, so as to be able to read them in their original setting. In the shorter term, however, I would like to begin writing some reflections on what Gitanjali has meant to me. The shape of this project is not yet completely clear. I have a title, “The Harp of the Road”, which derives from one of the constituent poems (#55). I have some thought of centering these reflections around my experience of the long, dusty road of being a public school teacher.
On that note, part of my efforts this summer will and must be directed to my long-term vision of the teacher that I want to become, and what I see as my path toward that goal. I’m actually looking forward to planning for next year, which I take as a good sign that I’ve emerged from this school year not completely burnt out!
Personally, I’m still trying to process our painful and complete separation from Jennifer’s family and her mom’s ministry. Writing may be a way to help me make what sense of this I can, and it leads to a question of what I can say, authentically and non-prescriptively, about the direction in which I long to see Christianity develop in our society. Can I say anything about the need to bridge divides, when I have so obviously failed to bridge the gaping divide in my own family? Or is this more a matter of escape from an emotionally abusive relationship?
It should be a long and fruitful summer!