We’ve slipped into week seven of the ten week quarter like a political candidate into a sex scandal, and just like one of those candidate’s chances for election, my mental space for reflection has slipped away. I’m even writing this brief post in class. (It’s an audit, so it’s ok.)
The end of the quarter is something of a brick wall, and the scholastic train we are riding on has no brakes. In fact, the train seems to have its throttle wide open, the academic locomotive accelerating as the brick wall nears. As it accelerates, I pull levers and flip switches with machine-like regularity lest the train come off the tracks. (For some reason, I seem to really want to hit that wall.)
Time becomes precious, because in the short term, I am running out of it. I find it increasingly difficult to justify sitting quietly for a couple of hours any morning of the week to suspend my activity and contemplate. Ironically, it is during this time of increased stress that I most need to still myself, more closely examine my activity, and proceed accordingly.
There are always big machines grumbling hungrily at the edges of my laying fallow field. Their appetites are insatiable. They do not tire. They do not rest unless forced to do so. The tillers would turn my earth in mere minutes. The planters would submerge their seeds beneath my soil with violent regularity. The shit would be spread. The sprinklers would subsume. The sun would bake. And I would be “productive” once again.
The machines do not know the planting season ends. The machines do not know anything. The machines don’t have souls. They are not people. The machines are machinations.
The soils knows seasons. The soil considers. The soil is alive. It breathes and moves and grows and yearns. The soil is organic except in the ways it allows itself to be made inorganic by the machines.
This is the fallow ground’s declaration – You shall not venture here, machinations, not now, not yet. I am alive, and you cannot understand that. Together we can do much, but only if you allow me to be me. I will allow you to draw me out of laziness and focus my potential, but you must allow me to check your unrelenting drive and teach you about Life, capital “L."
I do not hate the machinations of institutions. I just want to cooperate with them better.