Friday, October 9, 2009

Pursuing inspiration

Productivity has been lacking this week in the writing department. It's final draft time for my thesis and after getting a head of schedule last week progress came close to stand still this week. It didn't help that I spent the last two days many miles away from my computer. I stole the husbands day off and employed him as a "volunteer" field assistant at my research site one day, doing the needed fall (and final) maintenance around my study plots. Spend the next (and significantly longer) day at my professors field sites doing that end of season maintenance. I thought today would move me forward, but it seems to be a day of delay, followed by interruption, then a dash of distraction, and a lab-mates thesis defense to round out the afternoon. Not a bad day, but I haven't been able to retreat to that place in my head that makes slogging through another chapter of my thesis a desirable prospect. In pursuit of writing inspiration I cracked open my field notebook and found the passage I wrote so many months ago after long work days spend in only my own company. It's not too bad considering the funny mental state I always get in after that much exhaustion and isolation:

Machete Therapy - Mower broke after about an hour work, so I spent the next 5 or so swinging the machete. It reminds me of a hard up hill backpacking trip. After the first few minutes the pain and difficulty make you think the task is impossible. Then your body melts into the movement, and all is fluid and possible. There were uplifted moments when I thought the task seemed at hand and then....

It really is a vile plant, this weed of mine. Oh to live to see it's pestilent form wiped from the landscape. It makes me question all the truths I've learned in ecology. Surely there can be no balance with this plant, no divine purpose for its existence. There is no ecology I can imagine where its presence would be welcome. And yet I toil in its shadow like a slave to it's robust but chaste nature. A wasteful contradictory plant that makes slaves of man, strips utility from the soil, and defaces the landscape with it's domineering monoculture. What an evil, conniving plant, this weed of mine.

I suppose it's as close to a motivational speech as I'm gonna find this late on a friday afternoon.....

1 comment:

Dayl said...

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont. That's how you write it, bird by bird.