Since it’s scientifically proven, or something, that every cell in the body is replaced every seven years—which means that no part of the body is older than seven—even our memories have been rewritten and rewritten again—I think it’s probably safe to say that we enter new lives every seven years.  I know I’m in a totally different life than I was seven years ago.  My first impulse is to idealize that life of seven years ago, but that would be stupid because it was a mixture of horror and delight, just like this one.  I cried just as much, worried just as much, learned constantly and grew more confident, as I seem to keep doing, now.  Things keep happening, and I keep having to learn how to live through them.  And write about them.

I keep seeing new miracles, like how I saw a female Towhee and a pair of White-Throated Sparrows for the first time, this year.  Like how our planet loops and spins in empty space, which makes spring come again in April.  Like Anna Swir and Adam Zagajewski (read them for the first time last year).  Like how suddenly two years have passed and what I’d hoped I’d learn from UT’s MA program…I have, actually, learned.  Who makes much of a miracle?  As for me, I know of nothing but miracles (Whitman).

Anyways, there are several things I’ve missed terribly during these two years of frantic graduate schooling.  (Which, in my experience, have been mostly like: Do school almost all the time, and when you don’t absolutely have to do school, lay on the couch with your love and watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 like there’s no tomorrow, ha.)  So the things I have had to retire from my life/consciousness these past two years, that I am now slowly starting to remember, and desire greatly, with the fire of a thousand suns:

1.  Piano.  I want a piano, and I want it now.  I want to be able to play the piano in my house.

2.  Also I want to get back into singing, which means I want to start going to Sacred Harp / Old Harp singings at Laurel Theater again, and try out for the Knoxville Choral Society.

3.  Also: gardening.

4.  Also: quilting

5.  And maybe learn how to take photos of birds.  You know, non-lame bird photos.

Maybe when I graduate, and I enter a new life yet again (although I feel like this semester has really been that entrance), I will get to pursue these new goals.  And they’ll lead me somewhere just as interesting and challenging as my goals of five years ago have led me: on my way to publishing a book of poetry.  Working on a marriage, on a shared life.  Being a big sister to teenage girls.  Rolling with the punches that chronic disease throws our way, and cultivating the friendships that have stuck around.