The Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album of Elton John has a song with the ironic title, “This song has no title.” I suppose it’s a better title than leaving the entry blank, which would just be confusing. Entitling something with a non-title at least holds the place and avoids the confusion of what to do with that blank line.
I often share the frustration of not being able to find the right word to write or say. Today my mind was running in the background trying to recall a term used by a friend in reference to how professors often characterize their students: “pathologize,” it turned out to be, after multiple free associations, two trips to the bathroom, and one cup of coffee.
I don’t think that there’s ever nothing to write about, but often there isn’t a good single prompt. Today I did a few different things, including making a cup of tea for a friend, and sitting down for lunch with a colleague to talk about solving global warming through educational research. But then there were all those other things, too, any of which could be a writing prompt:
I am still recoiling from giving two talks last week, one on Frankenstein, on which I really know little but more than I’d thought, and one on my research and its implications, on which I know more than a little but never enough.
I’ve also been explaining Lenz’s law to students for several days, which is about what it takes. And students are still coming through the office, now in packs, usually threes, though often they send one sacrificial lamb to my office at first.
Today I ordered $170 worth of science toys to clear out an account that was created for, well, science toys. It seemed appropriate.
My dog peed on my friend’s floor.
I went to three meetings in a row. I peed in between the 2nd and 3rd, though not on my friend’s floor.
I haven’t written in days, though I have graded.
And that’s all I’ve got.
Not even a title to go with it.
I’ll hope that there’s more tomorrow, but maybe the tide can only go one direction at a time. When it’s all coming in, you can fight against it by trying to swim out.