Thursday, 20 May 2010

To be done with these worries

My new romantic object said to me the other day, 'Won't it be nice when you finish your thesis if only to have new things to worry about?' 'Yes, champ, it will be very nice,' I probably replied.

Later, I realised that this is part of the reason why I haven't been inclined to blog much lately. It's not being poor of time and eye strength, it's that my worries have not changed. I need to be done with these worries. A while back I saw this movie, The Blind Side, the one with Sandra Bullock in it, playing a can-do (partly because I am wealthy) Mom who takes in an underprivileged African American teen (see Alice's review for more). I thought, 'Look at you football Mom in your white jeans striding so confidently over to your new son and his footy mates...How nice would it be to have a context in which you so well knew your value.' At times, I think similar things when I see super hipsters, especially those backed up with a bit of artistic talent. They form self-affirming communities, and seem to be quite open to the present. Actually, they like the present a lot. I don't think thesis writing gives you that. It is a solitary rite, par excellence, a process that forces you to chase the future, which, in turn, teases you like a kite's tail. But these are old worries. I have worried about how one creates a meaningful context for years now. I have been playing slap and run with the future for even longer.

I wonder if buying something pretty will help, or maybe avoiding it all together. Again, I need to look at things afresh.

I have been writing about the use of symbolism lately, and apparently in traditional rites, the neophytes' masks are often black, white and red to represent the colours of human bodily functions and a rotting corpse. I am pleased that I now have a scholarly reason why I detest this colour scheme for weddings. There are a lot of ladies out there who love a blood red rose and matching red maidies, and to see their man in black dinner jackets or tuxes, but they're the colours of redbacks on white petals, Phantom, and, it seems, together, they enact the life cycle. I am not into it, though perhaps it is inspired that in one of our few modern rites, premodern symbols prevail. I raised this to some friends on Monday night, over pints of cider on tired, trendy cushions, and one of their friends who was listening said that he wasn't sure he liked me because I say scary things. In any case, wedding colour schemes have been a constant replacement obsession in times of academic stress, and I have run out of subjects to wed-off in my mind. I am off it.

I need to finish this thesis so I can allow in fresh worries, and find new things to do with myself. Until then, I may as well be in that harlequin outfit, to mark my status as neophyte, as not yet done.

(How funny is that harlequin? In my thesis, I have a quote from a businessman talking about a night out playing Limbo to a Calypso band. Every time I edit this section, I crack up. Something about these sorts of things, including A Cappella, always gets me.)


Dr. No said...

Hang in there (visually imagine a stupid kitten about to fall out of a tree).

Alice said...

Thanks for the link :)

I'm not sure I want to wish you 'fresh worries' - how's about 'happy thoughts' instead? xx

Good Enough Woman said...

Did the friend of friends tell YOU that you say scary things? Or did he tell your friends that you say scary things?

And you have a new romantic object! I hope that relationship doesn't provide new worries.

I reiteratre Dr. No's kitten poster reference. Hang in there.

John Flood said...

It's simple. When you are done, you are going to feel very, very good! I know whereof I speak.

Kate said...

New worries and new thoughts are so, so lovely. But so, of course, are new adventures....

Anonymous said...

Accck! I understand this headspace. It's been documented that thesis-writing people do often go into a sort of depressive state. Please know: it WILL lift when the project is over. Wishing you happy writing days ahead. And, sooner rather than later, crossing of the finish line! You can do it! Woot!