Saturday, January 30, 2010

408: on the fiscal responsibility I so lack

About a week and a half ago, I got an email accepting me into Hedgebrook's Master Class with Carolyn Forche. It meets the week before spring break: I arranged my syllabus so this would be the week students had off for conferences, and I prepared myself for Washington in spring. But as I peer into the empty coffers of my bank account, I realize I really cannot go. Not if I want to be fiscally responsible, and I do. Because when his whole MFA thing is over, I'm not sure I will be like my compatriots, jumping into a full-time job, the sort that comes with health insurance and retirement benefits. The bank account just got more slender.

That, and we keep talking about family shifts and, I think, when the time comes, I suppose the tuition to something as glorious as Hedgebrook might be better spent on cribs and rocking chairs. Curses to being an adult.

Ryan is doing taxes today, and it's mortgage-paying time, so all these ridiculous dollar signs are butting up against my long-time hope of being at Hedgebrook, of that need for travel, of that fantasy of being in a cabin and writing and meeting up with other writers, a whole week of that, with a writer who has meant so much to my own tenuous courage as a poet.

But then the practical world descends and I look at my medical bills stacking up, my car insurance, the surgeon's cell phone I need to call for Penelope's strange limp, the furnace inspector I need to call. These two worlds will mesh, I suppose, but they aren't just now. Frugality is a tricky thing. Gotta take care of that little guy up there, and the others, and anything that is to come.


Eireann said...

I'm sorry you won't get to go, Molly--but since you've already arranged the time off-ish from students, why not make it YOUR retreat? make a plan, treat it like a real retreat or workshop, generate some stuff, challenge yourself and have fun!

those mountains of papers, bills, and etc. are no fun. take care.

Molly said...

It's true, E. I think I *will* take that advice and make it an imagined writing retreat! (And sleep in, since the classes I teach are canceled anyway.) xo