Thursday, September 30, 2004

Warblers from the Sky

Today is the last day of my fellowship funding, so I had a difficult time dragging myself out of bed and in to work today. I stood in the shower, wondering what my graduate advisor must think of me and what my postdoctoral advisor must think of me because of this situation. I mentally sorted through the fates of everyone I know from grad school and none of them had ever been completely unable to find a job. Except me. Aren't I special?

But I have paperwork from HR that my postdoctoral advisor must sign, so I had to come in. I had to be presentable. I had to finish this thing the best way I know how. Fortunately, my advisor is here today and tomorrow before jetting off to Paris, France, so I can do this. After we spoke for a few minutes, it became apparent that the person I was dealing with yesterday in HR was making my life difficult, but now that my supervisor is back, well, things will be taken care of so I do NOT have to surrender my badge, nor my keys, and I can continue my building access, continue using the internet (thank gawd!), the computers and the library. These are all good things for reasons that shall become obvious to you as time progresses (I hope).

To gather my courage, I started my last day of work by reading and responding to email from some of my friends who, despite having their own lives and problems to deal with, despite being scattered all over the globe, they took time to send words of advice and cheer, precious words of hope. I am so lucky to have you. Even though I love my career more than anything in life, I have to work very hard every day to keep it alive, whereas my friends are the gift that ... happens to me. Unbidden, you appear. Unknown to me, you are there. You warm my soul when my own fire begins to fail. My friends rain down upon me like migrating warblers from the sky, like a feathered blessing, like radiant angels, having just crossed the Gulf of Mexico on your northward journey in springtime; lovely, brilliant, filling the world with your sweet songs, I do nothing and yet you arrive and provide rapturous joy and pleasure that are beyond words. How did I get so lucky ?

I received another unexpected gift today: My supervisor told me it is easier to end someone's employment at the end of a pay period (it IS??), so he wants me to continue on the payroll until the end of the next week. So today is NOT my last day of work, afterall! I am so grateful, so happy! SIX MORE DAYS in my beloved museum! Halleluiah! A reprieve! I have been snatched from the jaws of financial bewilderment. I have a few more days to save money. A few more days to think, to wait for something good to happen.

I think this demands celebration.

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