Italy updated

December 21, 2007

This is an approximation of the email I sent to Florence today. A follow-up to this earlier post.

Dear Ms. ____,

I did not want to have to write this letter to you. When I told you two weeks ago that I was still interested in the position I had the sense that any obstacles that came up could be overcome through either will or grace. Today I have given up my quest and must withdraw my acceptance of the internship.

When I applied for this post back in August I had no idea the difficulty in securing visas for family members. I thought that Europe would be fine with wife and child and we could just go about our business for a year in Florence and then come back home. They can come with me but they cannot stay. Three months on and then three months off.

For a short time I entertained the idea of going it alone, leaving wife and child for eleven months while planning short visits home for me and to Italy for G and babe. I imagined back to a time when an opportunity like this would be cause for the dropping of all responsibilities. I thought back to more care-free days when I could be ready for this trip within days. But I have changed and so too has my life situation. I could not imagine leaving at this crucial time when the family adds a member and moments return to immediacy.

My wife, darling that she is, allowed me to mull over the possibilities and did not try to sway me into making a quick decision. She knows of my fading regret of not going abroad during my undergraduate study.

So what is left? I have these words to thank you for the consideration. I hope that you find a new candidate who can make this commitment and find a way to work it all out.

Sincerely,

Matthew

**I know its kind of a bummer but I’m so lucky to have the life I lead now. When it comes down to it there really was no chance of me going unless the whole family could take part in the experience.

Paperwork

December 7, 2007

The final weeks of the semester are wrapping up reminding me yet again why it took me so long to get back to school: paperwork. Fitting the right words onto the page, citing correctly APA or Harvard style and meeting the required amount of words are all examples of fun activities snatching away my time. I will be two-thirds of the way done after these classes which is an unbelievable blessing. I don’t know what it is like to read fiction without a twinge of guilt. Nagging my brain are doubts that everything has not been turned in on time–resulting in rechecks of assignments just to make sure all is well.

I’ve only been back in school now for sixteen months and I can barely remember times of space before the first lecture commenced. Please, tell me, what is it like on the other side. Does the grass actually have a more vibrant hue?

I know too that I am blessed to even be considering let alone pursuing a graduate degree. Having the money, time and willingness at this point in my life does not go unrecognized for its serendipitous splendor. I’m a lucky guy and recognize it even in these moments of academic despair when deadlines loom.

So back to the blank page I go, every writer’s agony and companion must be met for another slow dance.