January 30, 2014
So…I’ve come to the conclusion that this whole process is way way way easier than I think it is. I already know what I need to study, the resources are already out there, I already have an epistemology and ontology that guide my every day, and there is indeed a strong, compelling set of questions to guide this whole process.
The only snag in things is the fact that I have yet to find the right combination of puzzle pieces to make the image reveal itself….the right pathway to reveal this research nirvana. For the past three weeks I’ve been shifting and moving and changing the ordering and rearranging things and getting excited and getting overwhelmed and getting equal parts elated and frustrated with the whole process. It’s all there and it’s so close I can (and think have) touched it a couple times but it’s so so elusive trying to narrow these ideas. I wish my brain could just print out my own analytics, I could review them, draw some compelling conclusions, and call it a day. Why is there not yet a Google product for that? Why has Google Scholar not created that update? Honestly, I would gladly let my webcam scan my thoughts if it could pull together what seems just out of reach.
And yet, just like I tell my design students (and just like I tell myself in my better moments) ideas don’t just emerge from the clouds…they emerge from work and work and more work. I’ve put in 3 weeks at this…21 days…pretty much nothing in the grand scheme of work. I’ve found lots of dead or half-baked paths. Great! The exploration is good and necessary and it all sounds so good in my head and feels so terrible in my real life story. I want to both tell the optimistic Lisa to shut up and embrace her for her pragmatism.
And still what remains is the work. Back to looking at all these pieces again and trying another composition and trying another arrangement and seeing if maybe that would make it click..that would make all things communicate the right messages. And if not, another day and another try and another chance.
This is not a hardship to play with such wonderfully rich, abstract ideas (whose lifespans stretch far beyond my own) while drinking rye and sitting wrapped in a fur blanket on my couch in front of the fireplace. This is, at its core, such a tremendous blessing. I forget sometimes but indeed, I am right where I need to be. The ideas are right there waiting. And for a short time, I get to be the explorer and who knows what unexpected places I may yet stumble into.
So…back to work.