26 January 2009

Dear Oxford (and life), I Miss You.

Wistfully, wistfully, wistfully I stared at the brochure I'd been keeping behind some papers in the top hanging folder next to my desk, pleasantly out of sight and out of mind...until now.  Its sidebar showed steeples and domes with the singular, teeny inscription on the side: "Oxford skyline from the north".  It slapped me in the face and taunted me at the same time.  "Naner naner naner, you can't get me..."  With a sigh, I replaced it behind some empty file folders out of my line of sight and returned to the blinking cursor on my screen.  

"Dear Sir or Madam,"  I had written.  I continued:  "As a past participant in the Summer Programme in Theology, I recently received the brochure for this year's program.   I would love to attend, but by a happy coincidence the dates fall directly over my wedding day!  Please do not take my non-application for non-interest and do keep me on your mailing list as I plan to participate in subsequent summers, albeit as Cynthia Cheshire instead of Cynthia Lambert.  As soon as I have my new contact information, I will send it to you...."  

It's not that I'm not incredibly excited about getting married.  It's that I'm not incredibly excited about my life at present.  It seems to be a trend:  Heather even posted about sitting on her haunches and feeling generally uninspired.  Call me crazy, but the barren landscape of Chicago in midwinter doesn't really inspire like the steeples and grand architecture of the English-speaking world's oldest university.  And the fact that I follow An Aerial Armadillo, a blog written by a woman currently in Hampshire and whose sidebar has comments from Twitter like "Forget gherkins, dark chocolate is a brain stimulant. (According to the Royal Court of the Spanish Empire.)", doesn't really remedy the "I miss England" feeling.  

It's not even "I miss England."  It's more "I miss how I felt in England" which was mainly free, excited, academically challenged, and personally fulfilled.  It was something I really wanted to do and which I really worked for, and as I walked across Tom Quad after Registration I burst out into tears because I realized that I actually did it.  Kip wasn't there;  I didn't really have any friends (in the whole nine days I was there) except for when Sammi visited;  I was lonely.  But on a personal level, I really felt good about where I was.   

But now I'm here, in 9-degree weather, feeling overwhelmed less by the academic depth of my work and more by how much stuff there is to do, and the only connection I have to my best friend in the entire world is a phone line that tends to drop calls and a four hour time zone difference--which is fine for short adventures but ends up leaving your soul chronically bruised after awhile.  

Basically I just really want Kip to fly out for about a week and to escape in some rural town that reminds me of the UK with a classic novel and a healthy supply of tea.  Until then, I have Environmental Science at 1:00.  


Anonymous said...

I wanna go to Oxford :(
And missing significant others is no fun.

Oh, and you are now immortalized on my non-read blog as a blog I follow. Thought you should know.

Cindy said...

I'm honored, Matt. For serious.