I love momentous events.
Often I find that I, and I believe most people, manage to maintain quite a low-key, non-rocking-of-the-boat kind of life style and thus tend to forget what it is truly like to encounter an event of true significance. We become dulled to what real change, a real happening is like. When suddenly something actually occurs – a car accident, the birth of a child, the death of someone close – and we are thrown onto our own raw ability with no chance of preparation or reliance on someone or something else there is a mighty clearing of the perceptions. Like an adrenaline rush without the twitchiness and gastro-intestinal (ahem) feedback, these moments really get us moving and inject a very real chance to effect change purely according to our own powers.
Ok, by this definition, what happened today was hardly momentous, but it was pretty close. I found out today that the budget cuts to the University forced my departmental faculty to not take on my contracts for the fall. This means that I will not be employed by the university through December and thus, because my brood needs food, we will need to draw up the proverbial stakes and push on for other climes. After two years we are leaving Vancouver. I have not heard back from Ireland or several other applications so I know something fantastically perfect is on its way, but nevertheless, with the safety-net officially withdrawn and burned, the view from the “ivory tower” is thrilling, but less than comfortable.
It’s a thrilling tight-rope walk, especially with the well-being of our kids on the line, and I know now that my place as a father and husband requires more than ever for me to step up and, through raw faith, will and confidence, forge us a future that is greater than the sum of our dreams. Time to be a hero.
The title of this entry is from Robert Browning’s poem:
Boot, saddle, to horse and away,
Rescue my castle before the hot day
Brightens to blue from its silvery grey.
Hey … at least I have a book coming out this summer. Maybe it’s time to start on number two.
Post-Script March 2011: It is painful seeing this post through the events of the last three years. Looking back at those two years in BC, I am struck by a profound sense of loss – of opportunity, of optimism, even of options. The ‘perfect thing’ has not come, and instead I find myself wondering … I don’t know what. How did things get the way they are? Where have I gone wrong? The mentioning of a second book now seems almost laughable.