Thursday, October 8

still somewhere

{ a corner of the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wisconsin. late summer 2015 }

heart in my throat.

that's a cliche figure of speech, not one I've used in description before. choking on your own life, your own inner core. very cliche, but it feels new to me. and maybe all the idiom dictionaries say it means extreme nervousness or fear. for me though, that part of the cliche doesn't apply. this feeling is not connected to the mild terror I feel about having to decide--actually decide for my very own self in some very focused and purposeful way--what to write a dissertation about and then figure out which faculty members will best be able to help me write it. this heart-in-my-throat-ness is rather a feeling with no meaning. not nerves, not fear, not sympathy, not sadness.

surely it's connected to something, but I cannot tell what.

this, starting this fall, is year three.

it's been a long summer, a long year. a long way since January and home and crafts. I have not stayed in one place like this since... oh goodness-- even this long in one place? in one town? it was early 2002. high school. I was eighteen. three years isn't so long. three years isn't hard to look back across. but since my long-ago high school life it's been snippets of much less time:

one year in Logan, Utah
one year in Exmouth, Devon
two years in Logan, Utah
three quarters of a year in Kidder, Missouri
half a year in Seattle, Washington
eighteen months in Alberta, Canada
half a year in Seattle again
two years in West Jordan, Utah
two years in Lubbock, Texas

and now...

now it's year three of my phd. three years in this cozy Lafayette, Indiana place. three straight years with only small breaks for visiting parents and siblings, for wandering in new cities and new woods, and a bit of going to conferences.

plenty of the things they told us about year three have proven true enough. I am in a daze and not sure where to work, what to focus on. I do feel very daunted. shaky about the future, even the future of three weeks away. I am sick of coursework on a level I did not think would ever be possible. even posthumanism class in some moments seems to slap me across the face with impossible drudgery.

I left the book in my office or I'd take a photo of this, but you'll have to trust me that on its last page, at the end of what Katherine Hayles has to say about How We Became Posthuman, I penciled in an awe-struck "will I ever write a book like this?"

and underneath that: "how?"

our next book for posthumanism class is Karen Barad's Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning.

I have read the preface and am already asking, again, "will I ever write a book like this? could I?"

a phd is supposed to be daunting, I guess. they don't want to hand them out to just anyone. you have to climb a good number of very tall staircases. wondering. climbing. uncertain. climbing. reading. climbing. writing. wondering.
“There are no solutions; there is only the ongoing practice of being open and alive to each meeting, each intra-action, so that we might use our ability to respond, our responsibility, to help awaken, to breathe life into ever new possibilities for living justly.”
   — Karen Barad. Meeting the Universe Halfway (x)

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