destined to graduate

well, the gods of higher education seem to have decreed that i will NOT fail out of school, contrary to my best efforts (worst efforts? something) to do so.

not that i have nothing left to do — on the contrary, i have still a buttload (is that a technical measurement?) of papers left to do. and not quite out of the woods yet — still gotta talk to some profs. but things are looking up, at least a little. which is of course a huge relief. just voicemailing the professors i needed to was a relief in spite of all the anxiety that led up to it. i’m so a ridiculous.

and while we’re speaking of destiny (were we? sure, sure, whatever, humor me), i think i will put in here a little ramble i wrote a while ago about destiny. yeah, sounds good, because i am feeling eminently unproductive in the writing sense, and i should save my small energies for papers. so enjoy.

*****
DESTINY
back in early October, 1999

Destiny. Is destiny like purpose? What exactly is destiny? Is it like fate? Under our control? The word brings to mind some sweeping, overarching line, a theme, a pattern, a running gag through your life. I think of corny blurbs on the backs of videos and book covers: “He was looking for [fill in with your choice] — he found his destiny.” Was it lost? Or is it always something to be discovered, a grand plan and purpose to be identified? In myself I think of destiny as a synchronization perhaps; an aligning of your self with a special groove, a place where you fit; wishing you and your body will fall into It– the something you are meant to do, something that your body and the deepest part of you will recognize. The way my harp loves a certain tuning — perhaps not 440 A, but a certain tuning, and especially on certain notes, a D or G, open stringed, and it just resonates, in just the right way, in a deep-voiced, harmonious way which is the way of the harp always, but deeper, more open, with a purer tone than normal. And I can just tell that she [my harp] loves that, that that is her note, and all the other strings tremble in sympathy and harmony. Mmmm.

And we want finding our destiny to be like that. Resonant, so that we know, we feel, “This is It.” And we can stop searching, and just concentrate, and enjoy that knowledge. This applies especially as far as love goes, I think. The ideas of destined love, star-cross’d lovers and all that. We just want there to be one special destined one out there, so that we don’t have to be forever trying SO hard, so we can stop worrying and just relax, knowing it will be okay, we are destined to be with Them, whoever They are.

I don’t know what I think about that. I can certainly appreciate the wish. But the cynical side of me (which has been having its own little heyday of late) scoffs. Scoff scoff scoff. And mocks, and laughs at me, and that tender sentimentality. “There isn’t just one person out there — don’t be ridiculous. [That’s a word the cynic loves to use: ridiculous.] Especially you. You’re plenty easygoing. Why should there only be one person for you out there? It all depends on who can tolerate you. So you can’t afford to be so picky. Get over the pathetic Romantic dreams.” Alright, enough of that.

The “thing” about destiny, and searching for it, is that haunting question of “What if you miss it?” What then? No destiny? What does that mean? Destiny associates in my mind with higher purposes, with words like epic, history, fable, myth. Like a story. If you are part of a story, you need a destiny, if you are to be remembered… you need a destiny.

Or do you? What about writing a story — a character, a fantasy story — and he misses his destiny. And then what? Does he go on and create his own? Or does he give it all up? What kind of options does he have?

*****

so there you are — the ramble of the day, week, whatever. off to do more papers, or something. i’ve been re-reading the Lord of the Rings recently, and it’s been very distracting. ah well.

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