Jump at de sun

12 Sep

Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to “jump at de sun.” We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.  -Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road, 1942


That quote was sent to me as the “motto” for my class (2004) at my undergraduate college, Denison University.  It came on a binder full of materials about roommates, meal plans, and registering for classes, along with an explanation that as we enter into higher education, we should always reach for goals that were glorious instead of always settling for the simple, easy, and attainable.  It’s stayed with me, even if I happen to like the relatively simple goals.

So this post will be an homage to jumping at the sun.  We all have dream jobs, ideal situations, places we want to end up.  For some of us, that’s being a mid-level librarian, or a children’s librarian, or a library manager.  Some of us want to change the profession as we know it (I’m looking at you, ConsiderJennifer) or help guide younger librarians.

My dream job is being a librarian or archivist for a collection like the Hard Rock Cafe, or someone’s weird amalgam personal collection.  Or at the Vatican, because holy cow the awesome things I’d see.  I’d like being the one in charge of the collection, even if it’s just me, because I want to be involved with making it something the public at large can appreciate and enjoy.

As for something unattainable, I’d like it if I were subsidized to live in a house with an enormous library and read books, then talk about them.  But some dreams are useful for de-stressing instead of becoming a goal, and that’s what this one is.

The other thing about jumping at the sun is that if you keep practicing jumping, each time you jump, you jump a little higher.  So what’s your sun, and do you jump at it?


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