Watching the wheels go round and round

photo from “Gorillas don’t Blog,” November 3, 2011

I woke today in one of those states.  I didn’t know who I was or where I was or what I was supposed to be doing. And as I seeped into clearer consciousness, I felt in a rut…already in a rut at 4:45 a.m. Geeesh!

The day begins: the 57 bus, the Market-Frankford El, the R5 train and then a brisk walk, hoping for a co-worker to come driving by. I will do the reverse in the evening. And then again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

But the commute is not what was getting me. I enjoy it. I get plenty of reading done–and not a little dozing as well.  But something wasn’t sitting well.

Simply, I am not sure what I am doing. 

For work, I am teaching Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone, and Jim Shepherd’s Like You’d Understand Anyway. But I ask myself, “What am I teaching?” Sure they are great reads. They are more than that: they are thoughtful, engaging, and well-suited for introspection, reflection, and–hopefully–understanding.  But, as for today…meh.

I know that it is a passing feeling, the not uncommon question of  “Is that all there is?”

And I know I will get pumped by the next great book I encounter, by the old song that I hear from someone else’s radio, by a magnificent movie that comes in under the radar, by good craíc shared with friends. 

But today the feeling is real. It is simply something you work through.

I was listening today to John Lennon’s “Watching the Wheels Go Round.”  I was thinking beforehand that it reflected my own feelings today.  But it was just the opposite.

Lennon is watching “the wheels go round” because he had gotten off the merry-go-round, had walked out of the maze, was no longer “playing the game.”  He was enjoying the real things–his wife, his child, his new life.

But at the moment, for me (as for most of us),  I need to stay on the merry-go-round as it continues to spin, mindlessly, pointlessly and without destination. 

Nevertheless, today I am listening to what John says and that always seems hopeful.