I also posted this on my Xanga, but it seems appropriate as an inaugural post here.
I woke up this morning to the first day of the rest of my life—life post-NSA, post-Moscow, post-late-night chats with my fellow nerds about Eastern Orthodoxy, the Eucharist, or nominalism, post-1,000+ pages of reading a week, post-Appel, post-Schlect, post-Leithart, and the list goes on. Some of these, granted, may not apply if I come back here for graduate school, but, nevertheless, so much will be new.
I feel that NSA was not merely a phase in my life, but another life altogether. All before it is so different and distant that it seems like part of another existence—or that I was only half-alive then. NSA has taught me how to live, or begun to at any rate. No doubt, what is beginning now shall be a very new life, perhaps as different as NSA was from what went before. But may I never forget all that I have learned here and all those whom I have known here, the wisest and most godly teachers and friends I have ever known. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I forget you, oh New Saint Andrews!
Perhaps God has grand and marvelous adventures in store for me, but for now, I must focus on working diligently, studying with joy, loving my neighbor—seeking not a poetic life, but to make the prosaic in life poetic.
I woke up this morning to the first day of the rest of my life…at 6:15, and went to breakfast with my dad, and helped my roommate study, and ran a few errands. I wanted it to begin so, for, if I can be faithful in little things, perhaps one day I will be faithful in greater things.
It may be relevant here to post the poem I read at Graduation yesterday, the conclusion of “For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio,” by W.H. Auden.
Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes --
Some have got broken -- and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week --
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted -- quite unsuccessfully --
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. But, for the time being, here we all are,
Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid's geometry
And Newton's mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
The office was as depressing as this. To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.
For the innocent children who whispered so excitedly
Outside the locked door where they knew the presents to be
Grew up when it opened. Now, recollecting that moment
We can repress the joy, but the guilt remains conscious;
Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It.
And craving the sensation but ignoring the cause,
We look round for something, no matter what, to inhibit
Our self-reflection, and the obvious thing for that purpose
Would be some great suffering. So, once we have met the Son,
We are tempted ever after to pray to the Father;
"Lead us into temptation and evil for our sake."
They will come, all right, don't worry; probably in a form
That we do not expect, and certainly with a force
More dreadful than we can imagine. In the meantime
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
From insignificance. The happy morning is over,
The night of agony still to come; the time is noon:
When the Spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
Without even a hostile audience, and the Soul endure
A silence that is neither for nor against her faith
That God's Will will be done, That, in spite of her prayers,
God will cheat no one, not even the world of its triumph.