Saturday, September 11, 2004

At the end of class, there are those last five or seven minutes that suddenly make sitting in one’s seat for a second longer a task quite equal to cleaning out the Augean stables. Some teachers will smile wryly as notebooks are flipped shut and ballpoint pens clicked into retract with blatant abandon, throw up their hands and let you leave. Some will persevere earnestly, speeding up what they’re saying in an attempt to finishtheclassagendafortodaynomatterwhat- I suppose even teachers have consciences. And some will go on a tangent, and say things that they maybe wouldn’t have said to an attentive class. You can tell a lot about a teacher by watching them as their seventy-five minutes of twice-a-week glory begins to fade.
At the end of Philosophy of Mind- at the end of course outlines and final exam weightage, preliminary definitions and the first round of the many many questions to be shot to and fro- Dr. Hussain said something that lettered itself across my mind, smugly self-confident like Georgia O’Keefe painting her lover’s name across the red sky and skyscraper tops of an imaginary city. It sits above all the chaos of the past week. He said that if we really looked inside of ourselves, we would be frightened by what we saw. And that we’re afraid of freedom.
It’s something I have often thought about, perhaps more so because I am the girl with the plans- the grandiose, elaborate plans that involve much gesticulation, scattered bursts of laughter and the liberal use of the word ‘imagine!’. They rarely are ever carried out, are ever within the bounds of what one can really do but they exist, nonetheless, as the flag-bearers of the ‘if’. But what I wonder is- if someone handed me the keys and said go, would I?
I am of the opinion that I know myself. That I don’t lie to myself, that I see myself. Do I really…do any of us face the things we don’t want to see inside us? How black is your black, how pure is your white? When people say things we don’t want to hear, why don’t we want to hear them? Because they only mirror a tiny voice inside you that says ‘well, that isn’t so far off the mark, is it’? Do any of us know what we’re really capable of, greatness and monstrosity alike? If someone laid me out on a platter, what would I feel? Surprise, nonchalance, horror? Maybe we’re afraid because freedom means trust, and that is a tall order to fill.

Mina at 1:03 AM

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