09 January 2009

Strange and Beautiful.

It's always kind of vivifying to start a new anything, and I'm starting a new semester, 2 new jobs, and a new apartment-- I've been feeling top-notch. But folks, here's the dark lining to my silver cloud: both my new jobs are at school, and my apartment is right across the street from school, which is all awfully convenient and all, and I'm not complaining, but: it means that more than ever The Campus Is My World. I tread the same paths again and again, in varying degrees of snow. I don't even feel like driving my 1984 two-wheel-drive Nissan pickup anywhere because no matter where I park it I get stuck in the ice and I have to ask someone for help. Not that I'm all averse to asking for help. People are always very willing. It's just . . . I'd prefer not to. I guess the Winter kind of forces us to confront our group-forming human instinct. Huh.

Anyway. A break in the monotony came a couple days ago. I had an evening class in a building I don't go in very often because it feels like a dungeon. When the class ended it was after dark, and as I walked out the doors it was snowing, everything was all obscured, and for a second, I didn't recognize where I was. I didn't look around carefully enough to orient myself, I just started walking and taking pleasure in this sense of being in a new and unfamiliar place. When you're in a different place, it feels good to have snow falling quietly. The snow serves to further surrealify things. Then I saw that crazy stained glass rocketship statue or whatever it is, realized I where I was, reoriented myself, and returned to my humdrum life. But it left me thinking how cool it might be to crash land in a new place where you don't know where anything is. Things just acquire a totally different feel when you recognize them. Know what I mean? It's not even the same town anymore.

If there's any place on campus that still holds for me a smidgeon of that undiscovered, virginal quality, it is (ironically?) Rape Hill. Those stands of trees, intersected only by meandering footpaths, strike me as the Provo equivalent to Hogwarts's Forbidden Forest. It's an oasis in the stark Purpose imposed by the rest of the campus's design. It maintains a certain enigma; it invites mystery and subterfuge. Let's go hide in the woods dressed like Mowgli for all of spring term. We shall feast every night on roast duck.