What do you do when you have only four months left? I don't exactly mean four months left to live, more like four months left of sanity. Four months free of the inescapable guilt and exhausting pressure of research and writing. Four months in which my mind is own.
Lest you think I'm regretting my decision: I'm not. This is no precursor to cold feet. I will get on the plane and I will ship my books, and someday, when the time comes, I will get a new drivers license. But I know what comes after, and I know that the price of this choice, my life, is realizing afresh, every day, that you are very small and very mortal, and that the library is infinite.
So what do you do when there are four guilt-free months stretching languidly ahead?
I read novels (Moll Flanders) and Bernard Williams (Moral Luck). I persuade people to talk philosophy with me. I go to Sunday school. I plow through Greek, one verb system at a time.* I teach writing resolutely and try to remember that I too was here once, on the other side of those four years. And I arrange to learn as much Spanish as possible, given the circumstances.
I explore as widely as I can wherever I feel inclined to go, because right now, the impossible size of the library doesn't matter; the only thing that counts is that it is there at all.
*Ok. So this isn't exactly by choice: I'm prepping for an exam.