It’s another Exam Week, a welcome respite after two weeks of madness. Proctoring exams is a pain, but it’s the kind of tedious pain that we’re all used to enduring from time to time. Fortunately, it’s basically two hours of boredom at a time, followed by frantic grading. The sooner that’s done, the sooner Christmas Break can truly begin.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about how pressure creates diamonds. I was incredibly, almost superhumanly productive in the two weeks after Thanksgiving because I had to be. I was putting in twelve-to-sixteen-hour days to get everything done, and while I was exhausted, I felt like a champion.
Then this last Saturday I had an endless day before me, and accomplished almost nothing. Part of that was recovering from the craziness of the week before; part of it was woman problems (the greatest drain on energy and resources); part of it was the lack of anything to do. I understand why retirees die within six months if they don’t find something productive to do—I was starting to think that all my endeavors meant nothing (maybe they do mean nothing, but as a Christian I know they do; if they didn’t mean anything, it’s all the more reason to keep myself moving so I don’t have time to dwell on The Darkness).
Anyway, that pressure can create Beauty. All this pressure has had me thinking about Neo’s comment on my post “You’ll Get Everything and Not Like It“: “I always remember that our soldiers in France in 1944 had a saying, ‘The road home goes through Berlin’. Berlin is on all of our ways home.” That’s the end of a very long and poignant comment, but those two sentences say it all.
With that, here is “TBT^2: O Little Town of Bethlehem and the Pressures of Songwriting“: