Sunday, May 6, 2012
Buddhafull Moon and the Thesis Blues
About a year ago I met a woman who was at the same stage in her PhD as I am right now. She burst into tears in front of me and said, "I can't do it. Everything about the Jungian archetypes and brain plasticity that I'm working on has already been done. What's the point? Why am I doing this?"
At the time I was aghast and quite appalled because there were three or four of us postgrads sitting around a table watching her falling apart and I didn't really understand what was happening.
I do now. She has the same supervisor as me, who said, "You are at the two year stage. Yours is a perfectly normal experience. Stay with it."
I've spent all day trying to write and failed. The back of my calves are tight because I haven't walked more than twenty metres since bedrise. I've been stuck on the internet, consuming and not creating. I have two serious essays due in within the next month and their deadlines - instead of motivating me (normally I love deadlines) - are just stressing me out to a point of complete impotence. My hands shake with caffeine. I should have finished with my thesis research but I'm hanging onto it because it is a comfort zone and soon, I'm gonna have to write. I've got nothing to write. Finally, after all the research, I have nothing to say.
Tonight I drove home, the headlights sifting through the lowland's the first autumn mists of the year. Apparently tonight is the Buddha Moon, one of the biggest moons in twenty years but the sky is cloudy and I couldn't see it rise. I'm thinking, given my rampant dreams over the last week, that even though I can't see the Buddha Moon tonight, something is shifting in my universe.
Tomorrow, I will get up and make breakfast for Stormboy and me. I'll send him off on the school bus and then I will settle down to write. Anyone who knows me will know it is a split life ... because by mid afternoon, I'll be heading back out to Pallinup with the San Patricios blaring on my car stereo and mullet on my mind.
What to do.
Just write, my supervisor says.
She's right, of course. She's always right.