Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Orleans 28.6.1995: Vistas to the Past, Seeing the Future Amidst Ruins

Driving on Esplanade a few days ago, I saw someone sitting on his screened side-porch, having breakfast. Something about this scene was like a glimpse into the past: so, here, people still do this.

When the artifacts of our past are not eradicated, it’s easier to see through the window between past and present.

(Later in the day): I’m not quite sure why I wrote these things this morning, what I was getting at. It’s that recurring fascination with vistas onto the past. But it’s also what I’ve been teaching about postmodernism. To me, postmodernism is about re-engaging the past amidst the ruins of modernity. That’s easier—the project is more poignant and pressing—amidst those ruins, and not in some glittering nowhere place such as Charlotte.

+ + + + +

I’m wondering why my teaching seems to touch and inspirit students. I don’t think of myself as a good teacher; but I’m told that I have that effect. I see glimpses of it in my students.

And this time at LIM more than ever . . . . Why? I suppose it has something to do with a new (but always precarious) sense of peace about myself—my gay self. It also has something to do with all we’ve gone through at Belmont Abbey. I’m—despite my kicks and screams to the contrary—a kind of symbol to a few people.

Does this mean all the pain’s worth it? Have to think about that. (One reason I write so sparingly in this journal is that I don’t want to write trite crap about things like pain and suffering. I want to speak truth even when it costs.)

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