Why is Tony Writing a Blog? And Why is he in Illinois?

So here we are, in this strange space without, hoping to find all the breathes within.

I never thought about writing a blog until I knew that I was going to leave New York and live the next few years in Illinois, 834 miles away from my old life.  I don’t know how constant I’ll be, but I want a way to document what I’m doing here.  So: blog.

To begin, ask why.

Reasons why Tony is in Illinois (in no particular order):

1.             My slow and almost imperceptible death.

Tony is dead or dying or not quite alive as he used to be.  This pisses me off and worries me.  I need to wake up.

2.            Guitar.

I miss those damned things.  I miss sitting for a day and listening to the sky and waves beneath my heart and translating that to music.  I miss struggling with Gilbert and Petrucci (and now Cooley and Govan).  I miss feeling eternal and free and limitless, like I can open my chest and let shoals of energy slip through, become a conduit.  I miss feeling like there is no distance between the Orion Nebula, my, heart, and my fingers.  I plan on recapturing this.

3.            The PhD in English.

    I’m going to spend the next few years working toward my PhD in English with a focus on contemporary speculative fiction.  More specifically, I want to position the Romantics and Victorians as the instigators of the genre, then analyze the specific industrial, technological, and cultural 20th and 21st century transformations that birth fantasy and develop it into an art form of socio-political reform as well as intellectual and spiritual exploration.  Lastly, I want to assert that fantasy attempts to resolve the tension between our fraught notions of identity—Is there a soul? Are we nothing more than a collection of cultural memes imprinted onto grey matter and other flesh?   Are computers and cell phones suitable houses for soul (if it exists in the first place)?  Why the enduring myth of before and after lives?  Etc. etc. etc.  So, I expect rants on authors I hate and critics that make me want to kill myself by stabbing my eyes with my tongue.  But also I hope to expect moments of revelation and excitement at ideas, sentences, histories.  In short, I can’t wait to be a fucking student again.

    4.            Books.

    Before I became an English Professor, I used to read books.  Then, every moment of time seemed to be stolen by some slippery responsibility or other, and I could barely read what I taught.  In the summer, I could read and research for an article.  During the year, I could slip in a few novels, a few short story collections, and a small handful of critical material—but that was about it.  When I was eighteen, books saved my life.  I’m hoping that they’ll be able to do so again.

    5.             ?

    I’m sure there are tons of other reasons that I have yet to discover, or others that I’m a bit too tired to think about at the moment.  For now, there’s quiet that I need to slow into.  Morning light waking the frogs in the swamp-like pond behind my house.  And a day to try to live.


    2 Responses to “Why is Tony Writing a Blog? And Why is he in Illinois?”

    1. Nicole Weiford Says:

      Reading your current blog is like looking into a mirror. I understand how you feel and believe that we do start to die a little everytime a new day begins and we open our eyes. I also wonder what this is really for, Life, as we live it. We get caught in the trap of trying to stay afloat and lose sight of our goals and dreams too quickly.
      Books have always been an outlet for me, to go inside myself and be another person in another time and place is a feeling that cannot be met with drugs or alcohol. Im slowly realizing we cannot turn back time and life is moving forward with or without me. I long for what you are describing and threw your blog I am able to see that maybe one day I too can pull myself away from all that has held me in place for years and finally reach for what I believe I deserve.
      I wish you the best of lck and already know everything will work out for you. Stay in touch…..Ms. Nicole

    2. Hi Tony! I am so sorry to have not said goodbye before you left. I am not sure if I mentioned: ENG 215 probably saved my life; it could not have come at a better time. Here’s to you and your PhD venture….huzzah. If you do anymore short fiction, please forward me something to read. I will miss my favorite (only) professor I had coffee with. Will also miss you as a person, not just a great teacher.

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