I had “fresh starts” on my mind this morning when I picked up Mary Oliver’s Blue Pastures. Even though I was thinking about “fresh starts”–the New Year, the start of a new semester, the return to regular posting on our Academic Success Blog–I turned to Oliver’s “Afterward.” Here she is:
Writing this book has been like bathing the dog–with every go-around it has come out a little cleaner. Still, there’s a time when the dog is in danger of becoming too clean, and losing his dogginess altogether. Just so, in similar fear of washing too much away–for I hope some bits of the actual world, chaff and grit, will cling to these pages–I put down the towel and call the book done. (Mary Oliver, “Blue Pastures,” p.119)
I’m thinking about how a fresh start is a chance to begin our work with energy, hold onto the “dogginess” of our work, and also to look forward to completing work. Wishing everyone a great semester!