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Begin with what you don’t know: An end of year reflection and meditation for academics

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W.S. Merwin, who was recently the Poet Laureate of the United States, grew up in New York City. As a child, he had a recurring nightmare of concrete covering all the green areas of the earth. His whole life, and all his poetry and writing, has had the aim of serving to make sure that this doesn’t happen. We academics are an anxious group. Will my article be accepted? Will I get tenure? Will my department survive the next round of budget cuts? We can get stuck in endless cycles of worry.

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