1. i´m still ill, though mercifully my lungs aren´t too bad now. But i feel ratty and old and worn out, fully five millenia on earth. This emphasises an oddity of teaching – within about 10 minutes of a new class, my exhaustion fades to a background difficulty, i summon energies & concentration & venom, i feel if not good then at least not too bad. Then, after the class, i collapse. Psychologist No 2 suggested a difference between good and bad jobs: in the former you only feel tired when you stop working; in the latter you feel tired all the time. This is certainly a valid distinction between teaching and office jobs – there´s no way i could have worked even 10 hours a day at a data entry job, let alone my usual 12. i draw energy from my students, from their response, their learning – as if learning is itself an irradiating energy.

2. Today i taught my first child – though he´s 13, so i guess not a squalling infant. i had little idea how to prepare for the class but we got on fine and there was much mirth and grammar. It was interesting observing a child, how he learns, how he thinks, perceives. Earlier this week i was doing vipassana meditation in a company´s waiting room, and realised how little i had previously seen of the colours and details, my mind full of more or less pointless chatter. i think children tend to perceive more intensely than adults, perhaps because the mind hasn´t established such old, deep patterns. When Miranda exclaims “oh brave new world/that has such people in’t”, Prospero’s “’tis new to thee” could be read not as criticism of Miranda´s naivety, but as reflection on the clouded vision of age; or both. In one sense i am not new to vipassana – much of my last life was an attempt to just see things as they are, to win free of thought and thought´s cages; but i was more intelligent than Elberry, and so my thoughts were correspondingly stronger, harder to escape. And humour wasn´t as integrated, as ubiquitous, as it is in this life, where it often acts as an escape hatch from murderous, vain, proud, hard, Satanic thoughts.

3. We have a new teacher at the school, a young American guy called Ethan, pleasingly unjaded,  even after 7 hellish months teaching in Italy (i´m increasingly glad i didn´t go to Italy). i was free most of yesterday, this being a very slow week, so i took him round Ultima Thule, and introduced him to my gods. To my pleasure he knew most of them, saying: “I used to be obsessed with Greek mythology. And really obsessed with Egyptian mythology.” i considered replying: “i used to be Thoth” or (slightly more sanely) “i used to think i was Thoth”, but decided it might not do to unsettle him on his first few days in the country, as if spending hours with Morgana wouldn´t utterly corrupt and deprave the youth.

4. Earlier today in the staff room, Morgana asked us what 2300 divided by 30 was. i thought for a second and answered “about 760” – then – “no, about 76”. Easy enough and my mathematician readers will find this derisively simple; but i couldn´t have done this five years ago, or not so quickly. i get the feeling that past competencies are slowly seeping through some obscure membrane, between lives. Perhaps spending all day teaching German engineers is one way of establishing a bridge from this life to that – to ease what could be a terrifyingly intense transition. For i was not a nice person, in my last life: tougher and more intelligent, more powerful, than i am now – such an opening, across lives, could manifest like possession, if i am not able to accommodate and contain those older energies.

5. And now, with the illness rising about me i must drink another cup of green tea and head back to teach another 2.25 hours, bah.

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