A Final Stretch Meditation

As I reach the final stretch of yet another term, I’m struck by the general numbness I feel. Even though I think of this term as a wild dance and a lesson in shifting momentum and expectations, something is missing. A disconnect.


Buddha head sculpture on pedestal facing tv & film camera which is recording and playing back a live video of Buddha's Face.
Buddha Watching TV, Nam June Paik, 1974/1997, at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

I’ve moved, to and fro, from a ballroom stage turned lecture hall to “sanitized” studios, learned new choreography with partners who’ve turned off screens, muted their voices, and whose bodies were displaced. I’ve watched students sit fixed within arbitrarily painted teal and lime green circles on worktables, a new kind of university approved green dot, a socially sanctioned “safe” space.


Demoing just off screen, I readjusted, rerecorded. Lecturing into the void, I continued professing. I offered. I enacted. I tapped my toes to a new beat. Things happened. But if all these things fell in a year of Covid, did anyone note it landing? Is anyone out there?


I get so much momentum from the energy exchange between people in classrooms, studios, and connective hallways. Through ranging “A-ha!” moments, I note “yep, that project delivery landed well” or “no, not quite—let’s rework that approach.” This acknowledgment moves me from one term to the next with refreshed objectives and some degree of certainty. But this year’s classroom manifestations didn't resound with that familiar clarity. Instead, with its general off beat sound, I find myself drifting toward a desired, yet nebulous, next move. Noting this, I’m reconciling with this new dance floor and refinding my feet.