Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


I will save your life

Filed under : Student Life
On May 17, 2011
At 1:00 am
Comments : 8

.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה
Blessed are you, Lord our God, who has given us life, sustained us, and brought us to this day.

This is, as my grandfather put it, a “benediction of Thanksgiving.” You say it whenever you experience something new or unusual, including the first day of a holiday or tasting something for the first time. I can’t really imagine anything newer or more unusual to me than graduating and receiving my Master’s degree, which I will do today. And I can’t feel any more grateful than I do right now that I’ve been brought to this day. You may remember that I tried my hand at this before, almost twenty years ago, and I didn’t make it. So I know it’s easy to try and yet still fail or maybe just get distracted along the way. I can’t even begin to calculate all the things I did to make it through these two years: the all-nighters, the tracking down of sources, the thousands of pages of reading, the squinting at code, the month of 9-5 classes, the chronically burnt fingers from baking, the 12 hours straight in a convention booth, the walking up and down of aisles proctoring exams, the stand-offs with weird professors, and so forth. It has all been a blur, and a generally happy one.

If you wonder why I haven’t written these few weeks, it’s because I have been too emotional to get anything down. Sometimes I would just be washing dishes and it would overwhelm me and I would cry. Tonight, I got an email that meant something to me and I cried on the 116th St. platform. It’s not sadness, it’s just huge, crushingly strong emotion of all types. I can’t believe it’s all over. And I can’t sort it out enough to write about it and that’s just the way it is. Sometimes things can’t be articulated, like the people you say goodbye to and the life you leave behind and the fear of what’s to come and the hope for a new and better future.

I thank all those people who sustained me, because when it all overcomes me, it’s the loss of the people and the life we lived together that causes the rush of strong feeling. And when it comes down to it, I think that’s what I was missing in my before-life, feeling. Right now, I feel so many things that for once in my life, a textual medium isn’t the right one.

Back in January, when I bought Deftones tickets for smack-in-the-middle of the week between finishing and actual Commencement, I thought I would be the happiest girl in the world at the show. Instead, things were a bit more complicated. Still, as usual, it enabled me to let some of all this out, and so for that I am also grateful. I guess that one goes to God and the Deftones’ booking agent.

I wish I had some pithy words to sum this all up, but all I have is this: the school advises me to wear flats to Commencement and since it’s in all probability the last piece of advice they’ll ever give me, I think I’ll take it.

Title comes from the song that made me cry during the show (the big tattooed guys near me never seem to notice this, it’s very easy to cry at Deftones concerts). It’s the song I used to listen to on the way to student teaching.
Deftones – Risk

Note: Apologies for the false post… it’s been so long since I blogged that I inadvertently hit publish instead of save about 3 lines in. Oops.

Edited to add: Oh look, someone has posted a video of the exact performance of this song I mentioned. I doubt there is even one Deftones fan who reads this blog, but here’s the link anyway. I am not in it, which is good, because the only audience you see is the mosh pit, and that would have made me cry in a whole different way.


8 Comments for this post

  1. Meaddows says:

    I love you and you inspire and amaze me.

  2. Beth says:

    Congratulations! Your emotions make sense to me, it’s pretty big. And what Meaddows said. Hugs.

  3. monnik says:

    Congratulations, Becca. What an awesome accomplishment.

  4. Melanie says:

    Becca, what wonderful news! I’ve loved following your transition from the music industry to grad student, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Congratulations!

  5. Elena says:

    I almost want to cry, reading this. You have earned this, Becca. I hope you soon find a job you will love for the next 30 years. Mazel tov!

  6. Becca says:

    Thank you all so much. Your support and encouragement from the beginning has really helped me get to this day. Hugs right back to all of you!

  7. tami says:

    Oh dear Becca! Just knowing you are feeling emotional speaks volumes to me. It is often (as you well know) difficult to pinpoint where these tears come from or even “why” they spring up seemingly out of the blue. I believe that as our understanding increases, we realize that tears can be exquisitely beautiful—and that they ultimately give way to tears of eternal joy. Just recognizing that we “feel” anything at all is a step in the right direction. You don’t have to name it.

    Congratulations on a job well done. You are my hero.

  8. Becca says:

    But am I the wind beneath your wings? Seriously, Tami, that was really beautiful, thank you. And thank you for all the encouragement and inspiration. You have been a wonderful guide and mentor!

    BTW, I saw this quote today, by Rilke, and loved it:

    “Let everything happen to you
    Beauty and terror
    Just keep going
    No feeling is final”

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