Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Chorus

I would be lying if I said that I was perfectly at home in our new environment. It took nearly four months for me to use the word 'home' to describe where we return to. It's not that the land isn't beautiful, clearly it is, or that I am not grateful for the house inherited by us, because I am. I think that it's largely the overwhelming change: leaving our home of nearly fifteen years, all of our ritualized attractions, each place taken in to distract from problems or ourselves, to quiet the disquieting internal dialogue. We've left friends and family (although some family is here) and the reassuring comfort they bring. We've removed ourselves from the network of artist acquaintances that, at the very least, give us the sense we are part of an art "world." Finally, we left our university positions -my wife, adjunct professor at several universities, and myself, university adjunct professor and staff. Like nearly all artists we know, we also must work to pay life's expenses and do the things we want to do. About our move to Minnesota, work is the great, looming question.

At times it feels that it may be easier to land a position as CEO of a corporation than a university professorship. Despite the odds, my wife, with great fortitude, luck, and experience has made it to the final four in a local university faculty search. I acknowledge my bias, but it is well known across a spectrum of university administrators, students, faculty and artists that she is a great professor, artist and role model. She'll be interviewing with several people and giving demonstrations next week. There will be dinners with faculty, lunches with students, campus walk and talks. The whole process is an interview. Although one candidate of four, she may just have a fifty fifty shot at getting the call. If selected, we can move forward here with greater confidence.

If you pray, put in a word for her, us. If you cross fingers for luck, now's a good time to cross 'em. After next week, the months worth of work she has put into this application will be done and we wait. By May, possibly sooner, we'll know.

In the lull I offer the male Western Chorus Frog*, Pseudacris triseriata. singing their greatest hit, "Looking for love in all the wet places..." and the chuckling quack of the Wood Frog, Lithobates sylvaticus, who can hardly take it.

*The species may be the Boreal Chorus Frog, Pseudacris maculata. There are minor physical differences, like slightly shorter legs, that account for differences in species or subspecies nomenclature of North American Chorus Frogs. They are easy to hear and hard to find, and I'm perfectly okay with being mostly right on this one.


  1. Change has many faces; some choose it, others are forced into it. It really doesn't matter how it happens, it's seldom easy! The philosophical among us say to "embrace it", "have faith in yourself", "persevere", and all will be well. While those positive thoughts are essential to survival and success, they overlook the very real need to finance that change. Being able to finance that change means "all" will be well. Your post reminds me of, not just my "change", but that of an artist friend, who, after retiring, decided he needed a change from a failed long term relationship, and the hectic, though successful, life he was living in Princeton, NJ. He traveled up and down the east coast, tried on several locations for the proper fit, and eventually chose a bucolic existence in a small, rather remote town in Vermont. After six months, he called me saying he'd made a mistake....that the beauty of the place was without challenge, but, "if one didn't work for the town or chop wood, he was nothing! He soon moved to Burlington, Vermont, closer to a university, and those distractions that make for those wonderful daily rituals. He said, "I had forgotten to really take stock of myself; to understand what truly fed my soul." My fingers are crossed, candles lit, prayers at the ready, for you and your wife. Angela Muller (Cleo was the name of my dog, short for Cleopatra...and proof that God does exist.)

    1. Thank you for your thoughts Angela. The interviews went well. Now we wait. It's all ok, we'll get crafty and figure out how to make a living or we'll realize this house and wonderful land here isn't sustainable.