My great college mentor, Benjamin DeMott (who, sadly, passed away last year), once looked out at the faces in his classroom and rhapsodized about a school, whose name I've long since forgotten, at Oxford. Apparently, the fellows of this place were required to do no teaching, no grading or tutoring or office hours at all. They were just to think. Or write, if they felt like it.
Professor DeMott told us how he longed to be there. There was a pause after the story. The Oxford thing had been apropos of nothing. He got on with teaching the class.
At the time, I was grimly amused. The fact that he wished to be at Oxford meant, of course, that he wanted to be away from us, his students. Apparently, our latest set of papers, or some other aspect of life, had plunged him into the despair of a writer forced to do other things.
But now I empathize. Life steals time relentlessly. This was mine today:
7 a.m. Woke to my 16-month-old son, Asher, crying on the bed beside me. He was pointing, I'm ashamed to say, at the plasma TV hanging opposite the bed. ...