July 12, 2011

From Gerald R. Lucas

Half Over?!

Where does the time go? It seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing about the first class day, and now the program has just over two weeks left! No matter how much time you have, there just doesn’t seem to be enough of it. This is true for London and perhaps for life. Thank goodness my life has included London.

Even though I hear Time’s wingèd chariot drawing near, I have had little to spare in the past three weeks. Not only have I revisited my favorite spots in London and seen some new ones, I have travelled to Wincester, Bath, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Cambridge, Tinturn, Glastonbury, and Wells. I have seen a great play in the West End, eaten awesome food, quaffed many a pint, and taken over two thousand photographs. I have made new friends, gotten reacquainted with old ones, and discovered new beers that I likely will become much friendlier with before I leave. I am actually teaching two photography courses—what an honor and a challenge. During graduate school, I remember Olson saying: “When you teach something, you become an expert in it.” I’m not sure about that, but I’m learning a lot, and I’m getting a lot of practice. I have seen great photography exhibits from all over the world, including South Africa, London, and Afganistan, I plan to see more in my little time left. Samuel Johnson was truly correct when he said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

While I miss my wife and my cat, the former will be joining me very soon. I look forward to that day, while my literal dreams are haunted by the latter. I miss him very much and that despair will impale me like a dagger when I get home, but the joy he brought to my life will always remain with me. His death will likely mark the beginning of a new period for Autumn and me. Dad’s been emailing me often, and I need to call him. I’m glad he’s thinking of me, and I thought of him while I was driving through the hills of Wales. He’d really like that, as he would like standing with me at the base of the Tor in Glastonbury. Mom says she’d love to get to Ireland; I should take her. Travel really is integral to life—without it, we become ossified—creatures of little scope and imagination. Through the challenges of seeing the world, we become larger than ourselves, and we bring that breadth home with us. Odysseus knew this millennia ago.

Yes, the program is half over, but we still have so much more to go. Yes!