As an ex-whitewater river guide, River has taught me many things, possibly even more once I stopped guiding. So this is one of my main metaphors for this project. And I have some things lines up, like meds (!), time, and almost a bit of clarity. Drop me in the river dammit, because I know how to navigate and survive WITH holding on to a sense of wonder and awe while I’m in it.
Now (here comes Mr. Excuse) if only this neuropsych testing report would go away so I could just focus on this proposal…hard to cook and run a river, so having two big things at once is a reasonable cough excuse.
But I’m all for nudging others if in fact I can get nudged, too! Let’s have substantial (all??) portions of our proposals done by Monday, August 31, 2009. I’m done with my Internship on Friday, August 28, so I’m allotting a day or so to party and recover. It’s the least I can do after being torn about this year.
By the way, I also do not know what the final form will look like either. Qualitative is the direction I’m leaning, but if I can do a quantitative project, that would be cool, too. I haven’t done one full-bore before, and I’d like the experience. Of course, the best dissertation is a DONE dissertation, and I also have the option of doing a program design/evaluation that would line up what I would do with data, but by proposing a program, I don’t have to actually carry it out. A bit more work on the front end (proposal) but a great project nonetheless, and it might be something I can actually implement (like my own little business plan).
Ok, start paddling. “All ahead!”
I never fell asleep. Maybe it was the Ladysmith Black Mambazo playing in the background of our room, something to help me sleep. Maybe it was that shot or three of flat Mountain Dew I pounded just before heading to bed (why was that here? I so rarely drink soda now) keeping me up. There are at least a dozen other associations that come to mind.
But I think I just found what I needed to move forward with my dissertation proposal. Connection after connection. And I woke up. Right to the laptop and type type type. Head to bed? Well, let’s pull this one book out to put some form to this line of thought. “Soulcraft” by Bill Plotkin. I know it well. I flip to the Contents.
And what is before me on the page, at 1:12am after getting out of bed on this Tuesday night now Wednesday, discovering the missing links that seemed to keep my project from moving forward, from keeping me from carrying out my vision “on this side of the trees,” from completing this fairly insane process?
The same quote that Julie, my wife, painted on our bedroom wall in New Hampshire while I was away in New Mexico on my Vision Quest the summer of ’07. Rumi:
“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
Where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”
Tomorrow is my last day of class. I woke up this morning really tied up in knots. For many reasons, some obvious, some not so obvious. It’s interesting for me to notice that the past two days I have been knowing I need some exercise…even a walk. I could feel that tension building to a degree that even in the rain, I needed to get moving.
So waking up all tied up today sans exercise (the past few days as well as for way too long – only 2 road bike rides so far) was all the more difficult knowing I’d have to really push to make time to release some energy.
After tomorrow, I should have more time for many things that have been left behind, neglected, forgotten about, etc. during this 4-year marathon of a graduate school program. And to think I still have a full year of internship and dissertation left…
What are some of those things (not so much “people” because those ones are too obvious) that, in between today’s bouts of excitement, sadness, joy, and despair, come to mind?
• Photography (in particular more nature photography I used to do)
• Gardening (we’ve had a pretty sweet garden the past 2 years, but it was starting from scratch and now we’re moving)
• Exercise (weights, triathlons, mountain biking come to mind as things I haven’t done. I’ll keep up on hockey, hopefully snowboarding a few times next season, road biking (still new to me), and showing the boys what nature is.)
• “My Practice” – this is what I call the larger things that make up spiritual practice and growth
• My Vision – time to go back to the Vision Quest and ween or prune out what’s not useful anymore.
This is just a starting point. But it’s refreshing to know that I might have some psychic space opening up to “tend the garden.”
But first, I can’t wait to experiment with trying to stay in bed for 24 straight hours. Recovery begins on Tues.