Saturday, September 12, 2020

Teacher Tom: Full of Meaning Rather Than Absence

Teacher Tom: Full of Meaning Rather Than Absence

Full of Meaning Rather Than Absence

I couldn't find my wallet, which was particularly worrisome because I always keep it in one of three places: my pocket, a narrow counter in the bathroom, or on the table beside where I sit and write blog posts. After looking in all of those places, I looked in those places again. Only then could I consider the possibility that I had slipped up and placed my wallet, or, heaven forbid, left it somewhere else. It would be another 15 minutes of fruitless hunting before I would begin to wonder, accusingly, if someone else had had a hand in its disappearance.

I hate hunting for lost items. It's one of those things, like cleaning out my email inbox or folding laundry, that gives me the miserable feeling that I'm wasting a chunk of my precious life. I don't care to look for lost people either, but at least those moments tend to be accompanied by the heart-in-your-throat anxiousness that lets you know you're alive. Hunting for lost items, especially run-of-the-mill things like wallets, keys, and phones, is just pure frustration for me, which is why I like to have designated places to keep them and also why, when they are lost, I tend to be at a loss. 

I know not everyone feels like this. In fact, I have one friend who insists that she actually "likes" looking for lost things. The hunt, for her, is a quest and she anticipates the feeling of accomplishment when she finally finds what she's been seeking. Whatever the case, there's no denying that trying to find something does a peculiar thing to your perception. In a flash, the world is turned into a place defined by an absence. Existence is suddenly reorganized on the basis of what is sought, giving it the quality of a ghost, glimpsed in the similar color of something else entirely, in the heft of CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: Full of Meaning Rather Than Absence