Sunday, 24 March 2013

Summer is ending

I spent way too much time over the late-spring and summer weighing myself down over a work-based project-management certificate course.  The thing was due on Boxing Day but all of us six participants were granted extensions to the end of February due to our pack-procrastinationary inclinations.  I took three days off in November to do it, managing only a third of the assignment in those three days.  The process wasn't helped by this awful sheet-metal grey weather that hovered over the city throughout the late spring and early summer.  It sure didn't feel like an Aussie Christmas, and even Christmas day was cold and rainy.

I deliberated over the assignment throughout those few weeks I had off during January.  I'd be at my desk indoors with the ceiling fan whirling crazily above me while the city outside cracked with its highest recorded temperature of around 46 degrees.  I finished the assignment with days to spare, and to my pleasant surprise, I passed with no further ado or resubmission request.  The shiny certificate came to me through the post.  Almost gives me the confidence to keep studying, somehow.  I hope the cohort get some kind of reward of achievement like we were promised we would, a little dinner with healthy salad and fresh wine, a pat on the back to say well done, project managers.

I am undeniably a grown man now.  I walk the campus thinking back to 1988, 18 years old, fresh out of high school, and looking a day over 12.  The campus seemed busy then, but in comparison to today, it was a country town.  The campus is teeming now.  Students, everywhere, trawling around all hours of the day at night it seems.  New buildings, refurbishments, new apartment blocks.  They've just opened up a Subway this year that stays open late.  And the students surely don't dress like they used to.  I'm not sure if there is a discernible fashion sense amongst these youth, other than what brand of laptop or mobile phone they carry.  In my day, all of 1988, there seemed to be more a class distinction.  The yuppies or idiots would go for the Country Road label and buy the 1988 Class A striped blue and white shirt to match their faded jeans.  Half the boys would go around wearing to match the 1988 Class A greased mullet look, or whatever that was. I've recently thought it would have been good to have bought one of those shirts (inconceivable at the time) and kept it in storage for 25 years, to pull out now and wear around the campus with brazen aplomb.  But for what end.  1988 is gone, over, finished, as is my youth, and as for these young pipers and pipettes, who knows what the future holds for them?  Who knows what the future holds for all of us, for humanity?  All we do know, there's no looking back, and there's not much point holding onto something that is over, finished, ended.  Best to deal with practicalities, with what we've got, and how to solve some rather ginormous issues that hover over us like a pool of rancid late summer heat that really shouldn't be here.

I took sick in late January.  I'd gone back to work feeling misplaced, a little buzzy and lethargic, weighed down by my warped perceptions of a sack-load of new year's responsibilities I dreaded facing.  By the second day I started shaking and shimmering and turning green and grey and I was off sick and to the doctor's and I'd never felt so sick in all my life.  The anti-biotics kicked in but the drugs themselves made me sick in their own way. I was a discoloured, ill-feeling human laboratory that loped around just wanting to get better.

I did get better, to the point where I became unusually clear and happy.  I suspect that particular illness manifested physically for emotional release.  I'm enjoying work, and despite life's little downs and ups, I feel clear and open.  I'm not carrying little anger rats in my stomach or mind as I did up to then, no doubt exacerbated by this silly certificate course that needed attending to.  Life is good.

And the summer is ending.  My dear partner Steph's song, on YouTube, 

Paul Hewson shooting star

i'm in the sunshine A mate of mine produces a monthly songwriter newsletter which goes out to a hundred or so mainly Sydney-based...