Dissertation Committee Anxst

Amidst the clouds,
Uncertainty dances
Shaking the Rattle of doubt.
Shortcomings fall

What to do?
The storm uncontrolled,
You can only account for you,
Listen, hope, tempt an unfolding.

Sometimes dreams smolder,
Simmer low,
Sap hardened in the tree
Goes nowhere, can only be.

Change threatens
To chain me in place.
What is my place?
It shifts,

It slides,
Adrift, takes sudden shapes
Earthquakes and avalanches of old beliefs,
I’m left largely undefined.

Paper-thin objects of nameless cries,
Respect, status, authority,
Conference granted on advanced degree,
All sparkling social little lies.

What’s the reason and the why?
Why spill your thoughts,
In ink red like blood,
Until the mind, exhausted, freezes dry?

Does it make us more sacred,
More worthy, more loved?
Does it finally prove to others
We can teach some to fly?

Is it common sense
To not move for days,
Nor sleep well nor eat right
To stay on top of a page?

Push through despite
The fearful thought,
It all just might
Come to naught

And if, having done what I can,
I don’t succeed?
Such fears
I have no time to heed.

I will finish what I’ve started,
Though it’s largely not up to me,
And hope that when I’m finally parted
From these ragged years, I will break free.


9 thoughts on “Dissertation Committee Anxst

    1. Thanks, Ali! One of my committee members is extremely ill and it could be a month or two at the least before she fully recovers and reads any of my chapters. Trying to simply hold her in compassion and definitely sending healing light to her. Trying not to selfishly worry about how that will effect whether I can graduate at the end of summer session, which has been my goal and the option that doesn’t leave me financially stressed. That part is quite out of my hands. But unfortunately I’m a bit freaked out anyway. Still waiting for comments from everyone else, too.

      1. Oh no! That’s terrible! It never rains but it pours. You must feel like its never going to be over. So sorry. What are your plans for after graduation?

      2. Sure does, Ali! Just trying to prioritize and do anything in my power to get done, and just hope the rest falls into place. I’m afraid that thoroughly answering your question about what I want to do after grad school would take a whole blog post. My two second answer I decided is sort of good enough is teach, apply to academic and nonacademic jobs, stay in northern California, and, let my ancient kin help me out with suggestions on the best fit. 🙂 The truth is I literally cannot see that far, when I have projected myself past graduation in the future, it’s a blank slate. I’m not sure whether the appropriate response to that is terror or relief so I tend to feel both for good measure… how confusing for me!

      3. On the one hand, I feel for you, its such a difficult position to be in. On the other hand, its very exciting… the whole world is your oyster!!!

      4. I’ve oddly been feeling the same way… possibility is definitely exciting to say the least! And also, beside the point probably, I like oysters. 🙂 Strange idiom though, is it not?

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