Disorientation

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[Thanks Kylie for letting me use this picture that fits the title! :)]

I have been experiencing disorientation. The past couple days I sit at my desk during my preparation period (no students) and I experience disorientation. I am not "into" teaching here, now because I too am about to move on. So I poke around on the internet looking for deals on computer hard drives or shop for tents for camping or grade few papers and cast around with a sense of restlessness. In my mind I even have thoughts of, "Maybe I should go to school to be an engine mechanic..." or "How will I be happy in Korea when it is Africa/Ehtiopia that calls out my passions" and it is sort of free time for a wandering mind. For 5 months I cannot get out of bed earlier than 7:00 (the last possible minute to get to school on time) because, "I can get by today without extra work" feeling or "what difference does it really make?"

I think, looking ahead to moving, coupled with multiple detachment events that are the normal precursor, like garage sales, selling the house, taking the sheep to a neighboring farm, naturally take away some of the aspects of my life that, even unintentionally perhaps, give me a context for my thinking and my activities. Being stripped of the context for "me" for who I am, means that my thoughts and actions have no boundaries to reflect off of and my thoughts, as I send them out, fail to find a reflective surface and continue on into infinite space without reflecting to my mind, without telling me, as it were: who I am, what I am responsible to do, who I am responsible for, what actions are good and not good, what activities I should engage in.

Yesterday I began telling myself, "I am a Christian, I am a man, I am a teacher, husband, father." and that helps give me a framework for my thoughts. This morning for the first time this year, I got out of bed at 6:15 (it has been not until 7:00 like I mentioned, all year) telling myself, "I am a Christian [implying the necessary activity of reading my Bible and praying] I am a teacher [implying I need to grade some papers and have a lesson] I am a husband [meaning I need to treat my wife kindly and just get out of bed instead of annoy her by putting her through an hour long cycle of five minute snooze alarms]." That somehow helps give me context for my life.

I don't know if it is weird or not to have almost a separate life inside my head that I have to adapt my activity to accomodate, since my lif is the only one I know!

Refugees must go through something similar. Imagine being faced with such violence, or threat thereof, that you feel you must collect your family and run. You travel and end up (to varying degrees) at a location that is unfamiliar; your livlihood is absent, needs are present but you lack any resources or references for meeting them. Wow. Even as an intentional refugee I experience disorientation. It makes me see the stories of Darfur in a different light.

Copyright 2011 Jay Reimer    (You can email me at jay.reimer@gmail.com