You know, I didn't really notice the date when I began this blog three years ago, but I do remember Jeffrey noticing I had chosen Bastille Day on which to begin. I was reminded of this just now when Richard Stubbs was speaking on the radio with someone from Alliance Française about learning another language, and the big debate in Australia now about whether we should learn European or Asian languages. Given that so few students learn a language at all, I would have thought we had little to be picky about here, but that's another story. Anyway, how proud am I that I could understand all of Kathleen's comment on my post about Italian classes (and a good deal of the grammar, too), and also the email my sister, who is enviably fluent in a number of European languages, sent me in Italian. I do think the reading is going to be easier for me than the speaking, but then since I'm doing this in part to enhance my reading of Petrarch, Dante and Boccaccio, that's probably ok.
Richard was also inviting talkback on the various revolutions you've enacted in your life. I didn't stay to listen because I've just made a very scary phonecall about a piano, and because I wanted to come in here to post. But if I think back to where I was three years ago, it's timely, perhaps, to think whether cancer revolutionised me.
Yes. And no.
In some ways, I think the biggest change for me over that time has been my progressive disenchantment from my workplace. Not that I've done anything about this, so I can't call it a revolution. I still work just as hard for it, and in its interests, as I used to, but falling out of love with my university has made a substantial change to the way I see myself and my working future. Not a revolution, then, so much as a re-adjustment.
The pointy end of my dealings with cancer has passed, of course, and on paper, my prognosis just gets better and better. Even so — and maybe it's just a sign of middle age, now — for the last few weeks, I have been regularly waking in the middle of the night and pondering mortality in a way I never used to before. And even sometimes during the day, too. Partly this is book-writing anxiety, but I find I have to work hard, some days, to remind myself it's not too late to learn a new language, to finish current projects and start new ones, and to have faith in the future. Though the poor planet, if it were sentient, would surely be waking at night with worry, too.
D'ailleurs, Joyeux anniversaire, mon cher blog.