Thursday, September 12, 2013

Feelings, Whoa Whoa Whoa Feelings

Every day I come here and write about what's happening in my life, the things I notice and do, but I feel kind of guilty for not getting more into nitty-gritty personal stuff. Like what I'm feeling. (You might all be rolling your eyes right now, thinking "Oh no, don't go there," but don't worry -- this post isn't going to be any more revealing than usual.)

I guess I don't dwell on feelings or even really think about them much. My stepsister once commented that I always seem upbeat, and it's true that I've been blessed with good brain chemistry. I'm not one to ruminate on problems or dissatisfaction. I have my cranky moments, but in the greater scope of things my problems (so far) are few, and any dissatisfaction I feel is usually transient. So is any joy, for that matter. Am I superficial? I don't know -- maybe. But if I am, it keeps me sane and happy.

I have felt a certain amount of nervousness starting this new job, and I've written some about that, but it seems to be going well and every day I feel more comfortable. As I get to know the kids, their names, which ones talk loudly and which ones are bookworms, I feel more and more like I belong. There's really no dissatisfaction associated with the job so far. One of the best parts is waking up and having a reason to shower, shave and get dressed in my long-dormant work clothes! I love being able to wear my dressy pants and shirts again, instead of schlumping around the house in an old faded t-shirt.

I've been dreaming about books -- shelving them, organizing them, stamping them. Last night I dreamed about putting books on hold for someone. I dream about the slippery feeling of plastic-sheathed library books, one against the other. It's kind of crazy. Yesterday I asked people at work if they dream about books, and to my surprise they said no! Maybe my brain chemistry isn't so good after all?

Speaking of books, I finished Reza Aslan's book about Jesus, "Zealot." The first half was better than the second half. In the end, it's virtually impossible to write a historical biography of Jesus, because so little of the history of his life is really known. Aslan's book is really more about the formation of the Christian church and the interaction of the political players and, on a more micro level, the followers of Jesus. I think Aslan did a good job with the material he could gather -- "Zealot" is readable, respectful and factual -- and do I even need to say that I reject the ridiculous assertion that it's somehow inappropriate for a Muslim to write about Christianity? (Thank you, Fox News.)

(Photo: The underside of a railway overpass in Camden, London. The title of this post, in case you haven't figured it out, is an allusion to this really terrible song.)


  1. Your brain chemistry and your heart chemistry are very very sound and beautiful.

    I can't believe those other people don't dream about books. What is up with that? A problem with their brain chemistry, I think.

  2. Ooh slippery library books! I usually download my library books onto my Kindle, so I kind of miss that :)

    I'm glad you're settling into your job. As you know, a number of us are kind of jealous that you get to work in a library :)

    That song is a lot of fun to sing Really Loud. Ha!

  3. I can see how you would dream about books especially at first, settling into your new job. I'm the same way, I rarely worry, I don't get depressed, I'm generally upbeat. doesn't mean I don't have bad days of dissatisfaction but they pass quickly enough.

  4. Hey- just be grateful about the way your brain works. Mine is the opposite of yours and we all know how that works out.
    I think as you continue to work, the book dreams will disappear. It's the newness. But it's part of your daily consciousness and experience so who knows?

  5. I started a new job in January and I remember at the beginning I had some strange work-related dreams. They did finally go away but, I must admit I do have some really strange dreams from time to time.
    I love hearing about the books you are reading and I think I'm going to find a copy of this latest. I recently watched a PBS special called "The Life of Mohammed" that I found fascinating. I think I'd enjoy this book about Jesus as well. It's interesting how the political factions of both religions have taken the teachings of both men to such extremes.

  6. Dreaming about books sounds great! As does your job. Next time you dream that, you should try reading the books and see what's in them. When I dream of waiting tables (standard stress dream), I try to remember to walk out on my job. Ha!

    What you were saying about not sharing enough feelings- Man, compared to many men, you're a beacon of emote. I love your writing, Steve.

  7. Writing is medicine of the purest kind. The fact that you write about your life and what meanings you can make of it-whether it's dreams of slippery, plastic-covered books or learning the characteristics of your young charges-is utterly and completely awesome. Nancy has spoken!

  8. I know what you mean about getting up and putting on work clothes. I smiled when I read that. We're changing places. Hopefully I will rejoin you in the world of work in a while. I am glad your job is going well. And whether or not you talk about feelings here, still they come through, along with your good-heartedness.