Feeling the Burn

Ok, I hit the wall. Yesterday was the fifth day of my 10-day master's residency at Antioch University Los Angeles, and I was weary as a jaguar after a 60-mile-per-hour sprint. My bones ached. My muscles ached. My head ached. I couldn't remember what day it was. I was emotional and overwrought. Did I mention I was tired?

I love these residencies. They are chockful of seminars, workshops, lectures and readings. But after four days in which I arrived before 9 and left after 9, well, let's just say I can't go the distance like I could when I was 20 - or even 40. So I skipped the cohort dinner last night and went to the movies with a friend, just to clear my head. (By the way, loved "X-Men: First Class.") And I slept in a little this morning.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am "genre-jumping" - moving into poetry for the upcoming semester from creative nonfiction, which is my emphasis in this program. I had some specific ideas of what I wanted to do this semester. So yesterday my mentor laid out the expected work. Whoa. It wasn't what I had planned, and I spent the better part of the day struggling to get my head around the new agenda. What it came down to is this: I had to let go. You know that old yarn, If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans? Yeah, she was getting a good guffaw at my expense.

Today, I'm feeling better, realizing I'm likely going to learn a lot of things I didn't know about poetry (and probably writing), and I'll be stretched by that. Also, I'm discovering much about myself, and about giving up control (geez, that lesson just keeps coming up and up). Good thing we're never too old to learn. Yeah, that.