Moments of Transition

All of life can be broken down into moments of transition and moments of revelation. This had the feeling of both.

-G’Kar, Babylon 5

I feel strange. Don’t exactly know how to describe it.

One week from today I start the first class for my master’s degree in computer science. The degree will help my career, give me background for my AI project, and teach me how to do academic research. It will take an enormous chunk of my time for the next twenty or thirty months. Don’t get me wrong: I’m excited. I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t excited. But I haven’t been to school in five years.

Last night I finished Mockingjay, concluding the Hunger Games trilogy. Mockingjay is a book full of suffering that goes nowhere, a book that left me feeling strange and empty and sad. Now I’m reading Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which seems appropriate.

At work, I spent all last week out of office, at the conference in Phoenix. Today and tomorrow, though I’m technically in the office, I’m in all-day training. A week and a half of being disconnected from the usual routine.

Likewise with the blog. Last week, circumstances forced me AWOL, and the week before that was the Dyriel choose-your-own-adventure story, which I was never all that happy with. It’s been over two weeks since my last “normal” post. A feeling of disconnection there, too.

I’m writing this at 3:00 in the morning, a time they call the witching hour or the hour of the wolf, depending on who you ask. Can’t sleep. Can’t turn off the brain.

The news is bad. Even as Egypt chooses a democratically elected leader for the first time in decades, the military is making it very clear that it still has all the power, that the revolution is far from over. Syria’s rampage continues. Rodney King was found dead in a swimming pool. Meanwhile, MSNBC’s advertisers want me to know that a local mom is 57, but looks 25. Her $4 trick erases wrinkles!

Work continues on the artificial intelligence. Leaps and bounds on the design side, with the learning model getting clearer by the day. On the nuts-and-bolts side, I’ve added some basic but very functional tools for pattern recognition and generating output. I’ve also refactored the code, giving it a much more logical structure. Every day gets me a little closer.

It’s been over two weeks since I last meditated. Sometimes it feels like a kind of miniature salvation; other times, it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. The categories may overlap.

And there are other things going on, things I can’t write about here. That’s nothing new, of course. But it’s there.

I suppose my brain will sort itself out in a couple of days. I don’t feel bad, exactly. Just…strange.

What’s new with you?

8 responses to “Moments of Transition

  1. I’m in the middle of my own transition period. I’m working with The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron again, and thus working with morning pages every morning again. That combined with the weekly lessons, daily tasks and daily meditations, I’m becoming the person I always wanted to be.

    Next month, I’m moving. That move will signal a complete change and I feel the Artist Way is helping me prepare for it. I’m more spiritual than I ever had before and it’s interesting that this has come right after I had a sunk into a deep depression. Whenever I get depressed, I seem to rise out of it even happier and clearer than I have ever been. As if the darker the depression, the brighter the joy when I come out of it.

    I think that’s a bit off topic but to answer your question, a lot is new. šŸ™‚

  2. I just got my wisdom teeth pulled- it hurts really badly every time I swallow, and I probably won’t talk or eat much over the next few days. Other than that, everything’s going fine. As of now I appear to be. . .stagnating. Not going forward or backward, not learning anything new because it’s summer, and so wasting my time because I have nothing better to do and occasionally my writing and I need a break from each other. On the bright side, in a few weeks I get to go back to S.E.P., which I have lovingly nicknamed ‘nerd camp’. Probably because if you go there, it’s odd if you don’t play either magic or D&D, and there are games that take place every day. On top of going to school in the middle of the summer for fun, that is.

  3. I have absolutely no idea how it’s possible to enjoy routine. That would… kill me. A certain amount of it is always necessary- and I can’t really change much at school- but there are always new things in my life. If I find myself slipping into a routine, I like to go try something new or change stuff around.

    So, new video games, new chores (yay for baby animals!), new blog, new books, new clothes, new hairstyle, new summer camps, ect. Theses things change so often it’s pretty much routine.

  4. My friend, I will be praying for you. If you’d like someone to talk to I’m just a phone call away. In the meantime, if you’re gonna be up during the hour of the wolf, have some vodka handy.

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