Sun streams in through the window. I’ve left the light off today: for some reason the sunlight is enough. The driveway is being dug up, so the door to my study is closed, and my noise-cancelling headphones are nestled over my ears. In my head, for once, things are relatively calm.
I’m working through a project that necessitates deep thought. Deep thought is hard at the moment. I suppose that’s why I opened up this blog post: something simple, something gentle, to clear out the cobwebs.
Deep thought? On the one hand, I mean deep theoretical ruminations, the kind for which academics are stereotyped. But on the other, it’s strategic thought. How will this fit my narrative? Where can I publish? Can this be put up for funding?
This strategy is something I need to do more, anyway, but particularly at the moment, when academic work is increasingly precarious. More so than ever, one feels the need to be not just productive, but scheming, pragmatic, to think laterally about one’s place in a discipline, an institution, the world.
It ruins everything. Takes away the magic of things. I remember posting here when I first got this job. I mentioned an overwhelming sense of relief, that someone finally noticed that I could fit somewhere, that I could bring something to the table.
But I remain happy where I am, and that’s something. I’m still tired, but this year, in spite of the world burning, I feel like I’m getting somewhere.