Tuesday, 15 November 2011

peas, perfect peas...

 
I haven't written for a while, she said, stating the blindingly obvious.
Immersed in sin and penance, me.  Well, pre-Reformation sin and penance in Scotland, at any rate.  I had thought that this particular thesis section, c. 16-18 000 words, was going to be a little more straightforward: the research was fab. but the writing has been like getting blood out of a stone, however, it is getting there and the time away at St Deniol's did help.  The more I write, the more details I find I have to put in, whether in the body of the text or in footnotes and I was quite impressed by the recent heavily bibliographical footnote of 487 words.  Friend Fran commented that it had finally become a 'real' thesis!   In the meantime, I keep forgetting that while I know about various bits and pieces, it still needs to be shown in some way on paper that I do, for examination purposes...and find myself trogging back over paragraphs hoping that I've made some reference or other to background, or given an appropriate definition of a term.  If I ever get this whole thing done and actually pass the PhD, I am hoping that organising a possible book will be a much more straightforward process.
Well, I can kid myself on.

Thinking along things that are also not quite straightforward... 
this Sunday just gone was Remembrance Sunday, a day with lots of whirling thoughts, emotions, and symbols.  A trainee pal of mine was slotted to preach and so I had gone along to quietly cheer her on.  I was particularly aware of when I went off into 'sermon loop' space, that is, the time during the sermon where a word of phrase sends you on a little train of thought to somewhere else before looping around and plugging you back into the sermon.  Given the type of Sunday, the trigger was the word 'peace' and I heard the sermon loop train coming to take me away. 
I was reminded of a story about a friend's sister who had been having a rather trying day.  Sitting in the living room with children wanting this, or husband wanting that, she cried out plaintively 'I just want some peace!'  A hush duly descended, followed by youngest wee boy c. 3 or 4 leaving the room and then reappearing and, in an effort to comfort his mummy, quietly handing her a bag of frozen peas.

It was a brief thought, followed by an even briefer one as I mused on how often we misunderstand what peace is....

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