Friday, October 12, 2007

It Is Finished

blog: When I finish writing a paper I feel . . .

Relieved. Being the production-oriented person that I am, I probably have more pleasure--and always more security-- in having done something than in doing it. For me, writing an essay is like mopping a floor--it feels so good to know I've done it; it feels good to have smoothness under my feet rather than tackiness or crumbs; it smells nice, too. The actual mopping doesn’t do much for me.

It could be a let down to finish something well; Ellison's "King of the Bingo Game" underscores the idea that as long as there is possibility, there is hope-- but the thing completed may turn out badly, leading us to not want to finish. Mostly, though, my papers turn out in a way that I can live with or that even surprise me with their power (such are gifts).

But like the floor that will need mopping again, there will be another paper that needs to be written. The repeatability of and the necessity to repeat tasks--how we respond to these things--are a mark of what we are as a doer of those tasks.

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