mara xmas to mee

i love this pic of mum modeling the shawl i finished on christmas (it wasn't really taken in '81, that's a hipstamatic thing). it's a simple design, madeline tosh's mara, but i made mine huge and it's such a nice weight. i've not been a shawl person, but this is such an easy shawl to wear. it's been a good, soulful season, it really has.

i feel much more clear about things, in part because hub and i started juicing and having some greens and nutrition means that my health has improved. and i'm deciding, here as i write: my gift to myself is to leave school behind. i got a lot out of it back when i was doing course work, but i mustn't keep torturing myself with it. it doesn't fit my life any more. it's a kind gesture to let myself off the hook with this. it's time for life without hooks. and if it's a safety net i've been hanging onto, it's a very false and temporary one. i've gone back and forth with this so many times, but putting it here makes it real. no more whining about it or endless what-iffing. i want to put my energy into moving forward, being brave and having faith. thank you all for listening to me through all this and supporting.

i was making a list of all the things i want to do in 2012, the things that make me want to live, that fill me up. they involve a lot of making and growing of things. tinctures, and stitches, and friendships.

bye-bye, academe. nice knowing you.


  1. i feel your freedom. learning on my own has been much more satisfying than formal learning. wishing you a fabulous new year.

  2. about school....what is left "undone"? as in,
    what more WOULD you have done to "complete" it?
    this question is asked toward wondering if
    you actually DID complete the work?

    the shawl is Elegant...it is like leaves.

  3. Love the shawl! Your Mom is gorgeous just like you!

    Good for you letting go and living! See you soon I hope!

  4. thank you all, it does feel good.

    grace, i've been ABD for a few years, so there's a lot left to do. i completed the courses and research and teaching requirements, but still have a whole dissertation left to write. which maybe shouldn't be as huge of a thing as i've made it, but the question is, why do it? being a professor isn't my dream any more.

  5. and grace, i'd love your thoughts and to have a dialogue on this, i really value your advice. even though i "decided," it isn't finished in my mind.

  6. completed:
    teaching requirements
    left to do:

    what i was meaning is, you have already LEARNED.
    all that would be left would be defending
    what you learned. and why, one might wonder,
    would anyone spend one iota of time doing
    when there are things to be grown, tinctures to
    be prepared, art to create and life to live.

  7. Making and growing things..... sounds like a perfect list to me. Happy New Year!

  8. Dru- I so get where your struggle has been. I would be telling myself to just finish, don't quit or it will nag at me. I offer no words of advice or suggestion or anything, just words of "I get it"
    Love the shawl for mum. It's beautiful!

  9. yes beautiful.

    happy you've got your decision in hand.

    merry 2012

  10. it's New Year's Eve now...and i am
    wishing you Everything in this coming year.

  11. Happy New Year! That shawl is just beautiful!

    Regarding your decision..if it's any comfort I've had a similar experience. Part of it for me was realizing how I defined success versus those around me. I think in our society, there is a sense of failure if we don't continue down the path we've started. In reality our goals change, we get to know ourselves better; it is in no way a failure, but rather a moment of real success to decide that we need something different to be happy. Wishing you peace. :)

  12. "life without hooks"
    you are inspiring, and i see you growing things all over the place.
    hooray for you. xxxo

  13. I want to live "life without hooks," too. Beautiful expression and yours will be a beautiful journey, Drucilla!!

  14. ohh, thanks so much everyone. i so appreciate you chiming in to support my decision.

    but now i'm unsure again! damn.

  15. I love it that you're taking care of yourself. Take time to listen to your inner self. Its voice might be very low right now, as its weak. But it will get more & more easy to listen to / understand as time goes by and you gain strength.
    I know it doesn sound hippy-ish (and it's not my style, you know me !) but this is actually super true.

    I <3 you.

  16. Congrats on your decision, you will always be learning and sharing your knowledge whether you have the piece of paper or not. I just read "Shop Class as Soulcraft", by Matthew Crawford, who has a Ph.D but gets more satisfaction in life by being a motorcycle mechanic. You might like it.

  17. mathyld, thank you! my inner voice is weak - or actually, maybe it's drowned out by all the very strong voices. how do we separate so many competing views and figure out which one is 'us' and which are not?

    i have spent much of my time in grad school learning to appreciate other points of view, how to empathize and not judge completely different ways of living and understanding.. but it has left me a bit de-centred. a very good exercise, but ultimately probably not the best way to live. another good reason to leave academia behind.

    and heather, yes, that book is such a gem!! i read part of it a year or two ago, thank you for reminding me to pick it up again.