Sunday, September 30, 2007

'Tis the Season for Revision

September may be the most optimal month of all for visions and revisions. What is it about the coming on of Fall that makes me want to clean the slate and start fresh? Must be a life of transitioning from summer vacations into new school years. I always loved the first day of school. Equipped with newly sharpened pencils and virgin notebooks, I felt I could conquer whatever curriculum lay ahead. For some reason the newness of the supplies made the material seem manageable – perhaps because I hadn’t yet seen the study guide or opened the textbook. But somehow a fresh pencil and unmarred notebook made me want to write. A not-yet-opened textbook made me anxious to absorb everything it had to offer.

My favorite new-school-year item of all was always the new box of crayons. It seemed like the perfect salute to fresh possibilities – the sturdy yellow box, two rows of pristine points with perfectly even tops, the spectrum of color. It’s enough to make you take all 12 crayons in your fist and introduce the whole lot of them to a blank page at exactly the same moment in one rapid scribbling motion. Undoubtedly, I succumbed to this temptation more than once.

While the days of heading into Fall with a brand new box of crayons or experiencing the sheer thrill of a new lunchbox are long gone, there is still something about this time of year that sweeps me into a state of renewed revisionist thinking. Time to buckle down. Time to shed the poor habits I’ve allowed to take hold over the summer. Time to re-evaluate and sharpen my focus.

Last September, I moved from Dallas to Los Angeles. A revision, indeed. This September, I look for new ways to revise – less drastic, perhaps, but no less visionary, I hope.