Shut Down. Reboot. Restart. Again.

Hello, Blog.

Hello, Blog Readers (if there are still any left after my being so neglectful for so long).

See how that period is after the parenthetical expression? I've been in school. I've been citing things in MLA and APA citation conventions, and I've been getting closer and closer to the degree I started in a different life and yesterday and oh my word is it end of term again already?

It is.

It's also end of hiatus from the library, I think. Yesterday I did all the testing for all the levels of library work I was doing when I quit last summer. Was it last summer? I can't remember. I also can't take any seniority or experience back with me in any sort of official way, and this is the third time of testing. The third time of hiring. The third librarian in our local branch to have to interview me before I can have a job under her authority and direction.

Apparently, I am a Repetitive Starter, starting again. Old college degree unaccredited, so I started again. Twice I've been hired for work at the library, never have I had any chance at anything but sub work, thrice I have been tested and I am starting again. My religious life. My writing life. My homemaking life. Start again. Start again. Shut down. Reboot. Clear the cookies. Start again.

Is this why I like to work with kids? Because they are all always at the start of things? See that? See the fragments and run-ons and deliberate mistakes? I've been in Lit classes and wallowed in Poetry. I've become so familiar with The Rules that now we play with each other and make each other laugh and cry and moan and roll our eyes. Our I's. Oh, aye!

But I notice something. Same tasks, same series of skills sets to stack and survey and sustain ... but different me. I am not the same.

I've been thinking about that lately. I'm reminded when I look down at my right hand as it holds the pages of my prayerbook. The part of my hand between my thumb and first finger -- it's wrinkled and starting to look like an old woman's hand. Only in certain lights. Only sometimes. But my hand isn't young anymore.

When I was in the sixth grade, we had an art teacher who came into the classroom once a week. From her, we learned the color spectrum -- and colored flowers with yellow at the center and all the colors in order to the outside points of the petals where they were darkest purpley blue and almost black. The colors blended together where they changed from one to another. A few spikey shards of yellow reached almost to the outside rim, and yet all the colors filled the petals in order.

I have drawn that flower every once in awhile for all my life since then. Spectrum. Blending. Order. Spectrum. Blending. All the colors, all in order, just like a rainbow caught in the fantasy of a flower that could never be but everyone knows it's a flower anyway.

We drew our own non-dominant hands, too. After we learned about perspective drawing, we put our "other" hands into a pose, and drew them with our pencils. Shading. Line. Perspective. Creases and bends and knuckles and nail bed and cuticle. I remember my sixth grade hand, and the one that holds the pages down when I study or pray - it's the same, but it has texture now. My hand is older.

In this moment, on a Saturday morning right before spring, when the fog and the rain are blurred together outside my window, and the quarter is almost over, and my jobs at the library are almost back in my hands again, I notice this. My hands are older.