I've been reading some of my old journals lately, enough to have decided that I'll ship these rather than junk them when I leave. So I should probably move on to a more necessary project, but it's hard to ignore recollections of memories you no longer have, descriptions of people you can no longer envision, an exciting time of junking the corporate career with no employment in sight and further exploring old and new interests in nature, women, dance, paganism, writing, counseling, running, cooking, volunteering. My visit to New Orleans had helped shake me loose; college friends visiting me had helped redefine relationships. Rereading, I'm finding I knew myself and others better than I realized twenty years ago.
Today's an anniversary--the date I accepted a job with a small college where I'd remain for ten years, by far the lengthiest employment in my history. At some time while I worked there, a researcher began doing experiments on chickens. A few of us raised enough questions to get a meeting with him and the head of personnel, a good woman who used a loom and missed men with long hair (mine was close to my waist at the time, and at this point I find it more of a surprise to recall that I had a waist), a meeting which served no real purpose except to mark us as prime suspects if the chickens disappeared.
Oh no, we're not really hurting the chickens. We just attach this there, and keep them here, and don't let them do that, and we've got a big grant from the government, and we're gonna make the world a better place. I'd sometimes hear a flat of chicks arriving at the mailroom, their peeps filling the hallway to my office; sometimes hear of the ones who arrived dead in their tiny cardboard cubicles, their life of days over.
I thought of quitting, and knew there was no escape.