Drew T. Noll © 2021, all rights reserved

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Strange New Land

It’s a strange new land, having become quite small, but living in it … um, I just can’t put my finger on it. Is it shrinking, or am I growing? Like trying to hold a tiny pin-nail while hammering to connect one piece to the other, my thumb and forefinger, the extremities of me, always take the brunt of my exploits into the unknown. Seeking adventure in life doesn’t help either—walking and riding the desires I wish for with almost total abandon. So, it goes to reason that the far reaches of what I consider ‘me’ must take quite a beating. This is the fringe of my existence, this place where I begin to blend with my surroundings. Maybe it’s also why I keep changing my professional aspirations—my desire to be something more—or … yeah, it’s probably just me exploring something else.

I began teaching because I thought it would be a great way to connect with real people, and not just the social presences that haunt the internet. Then Corona hit. So, I scrambled to recover the path I’d been building, like everyone did, between bursts of anxiety and apathy. But, all we were left with was the facsimile of us, a picture on a screen with broken words intersecting across the internet, again—my students now all forced to stare at their crack dispensers, watching my talking head bobbing up and down, instead. Now the apathy is setting in, now the anxiety is spiking, and now I take a breath in order to recover myself from the inside out. I’ve got to get out!

With my left arm throbbing, having received my second shot, I walked into the woods to work it all out. I thought of my students, the ones onscreen and off. I thought of the school admin meeting with all the teachers as well. We were all isolated into tiny boxes with our personal environments in tow. Some sat in front of bookshelves, others with art on a wall. Some had fancy backgrounds showing their inner being, while others had a camera tilted away towards the shadows across the hall. I listened to their words, giving kavod to the leaders, and smiling as if we all didn’t know. I felt it too, you see, seeing each of their faces was something good—even though it was behind a screen. Seeing them all, even in some disjointed way, was a tiny light, an illusion filling my soul.

Blessings for a Healthy New Land soon...