Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Return to the Front

Absolute madness - the urge to write gets no less, despite the traumatic ending to the PhD which saw me refuse at the last fence to do the proposed corrections.
Much shock and disbelief at someone who had completed, submitted, had a viva....and to all intents and purposes passed (although there was much huffing and puffing about the borderline status).
Why? Why did I not knuckle down and just do what I was told? Rewrite the bits that were considered unsatisfactory, go through with a fine tooth-comb and correct the typos, insert the references that were suggested as suitable?
Well, that boat had sailed. I could no more open up that document and write another word in it than fly to the moon. I had HAD it with academia. And academics, and the pifflingly unsatisfying nature of research done at such a micro level, that no-one either knows nor cares what the findings of your thesis are. Not even me. At a party, someone asked me to sum up my PhD in a sentence, 'Because' he said 'it's perfectly possible'. So I said 'Verbal aspect is not all it's cracked up to be'. And it isn't. And its not worth another moment spent on it, not even to get to wear the funny hat and have a limp and half-hearted buffet reception in the department common room.
But still...the urge to write persists, and its been a peculiarly unsatisfying 18 months on the intellectual front.
On the one hand, I have a great deal of specialised knowledge. On the other, I have neither the desire nor the opportunity to use it. I open many books and notebooks, my mind skids from one subject to another enthusiasm; it burns but briefly before the volumes are abandoned in the pile on the table, gathering dust.
What is my problem? Why am I such a light-weight, a butterfly, a charlatan? Have I had some psychological crisis that leaves me thus unable to commit to a project, or am I frightened of becoming a jack-of-all-trades, a flailing amateur, destined to half-fill journals with half-baked prose?
I've considered maybe I've been depressed, but I don't feel the awful sense of pointlessness and doom that supposedly accompanies that. I don't know what I feel. Boredom mostly, a sense of the drumming of fingers whilst the days fly by unused, a need to fill my days with something other than hoovering up mud, washing and cooking.
Even a part-time job - in a pleasant enough environment, with tolerable people, became a hindrance to getting on with...nothing. But I resented it's restrictions.
Rowing: Rowing is great when it goes well. It takes you out of yourself (because you HAVE to concentrate!), keeps you lithe and co-ordinated, fills your lungs with fresh air, but the interstices tend to become just time when you sit around waiting to go rowing again.
The children are growing so fast that I merely tend their needs and they beetle off on their own.
The Husband is going through such a total career and existential melt-down that we seldom communicate in any meaningful way at the moment. He is mute with misery, but I don't want to replicate his mother's inane witterings to fill the silence.
The Dog...the Dog is a blessing. Rescued mutt, desperate to love and be loved, bounding, extravagantly pleased to see his humans and snuggle inconveniently alongside them in bed. He keeps me busy; active, anyway.
So resurrecting this blog (as I have found the login details) will be a bit of therapy.
I shall work through - in words, blessed, necessary words - what it is that I am missing, and try to heal that wound, whatever and wherever it is, that lies across me.
Bear with me. It might not be pretty, or happy, or even useful. But I am going to give it a go.

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