I think: there's a smell of doom, and power, in the room...
I am working on my thesis for the Jung-Institut, which is on the verge of being late, or too late; is methodologically not yet solid; is built from fragments of the familiar and the new; is put together rather quickly.
And yet, is put together: which, especially for me, is astounding.
I've never been good at just writing: I avoid and stop, fragment and run away from the page....
But, after the last couple of years of change and analysis – especially after that minor, but so important memory of the downstairs bedroom, and the idea of creativity when I was a teenager, and the trivial way I lost track of that life's-blood...
I'm just doing it. Not daily, but nearly; not without resistance and avoidance, but the resistance and avoidance seem weaker than the writing.
Astounding, really. How much of my life has been about the impossibility of doing exactly this thing, the thing that has been obviously the center of my life for decades: just writing....
Late, or too late? What does that mean?
Well, the six-week-in-advance-of-the-last-day-of-exams mark was two days ago; and I only have two and most of a third, out of five chapters, done.
Tonight, somehow, I want to finish drafting the third, and send it to them and say: well? Do I slow down, or speed up?....
Will they let me keep going, try to create barely in advance of deadlines – pressure on them to read, on me to revise? I don't know.
If they don't, I will be unhappy, but not shattered – this week I went through a day or three of the emotional disappointment of possibly not graduating this summer, in advance as it were. I think now I would feel a bit chilled, a bit resentful, but not terribly so.
And perhaps too depressed or embarrassed to go to the 70th anniversary celebrations that will happen around this year's graduation day. But maybe that would be pointlessly childish....
If they say: keep going! – that is also a bit scary, but not seriously so: I just dig in and keep going.
Methodological questions? Well, I want to do the powerful stuff around AIDS, but is that archetypes, or cultural complexes? Proving the first is difficult (or impossible), proving the second almost too easy.
For me, at least, a justification of finishing – even with tricky epistemology/methodology and a slightly unfinished quality – is that many theses for professional certification aren't entirely solid. For me, this is the advance version of a book I want to take two or three years to write – and I think at least one of my examiners knows that: and although it may seem a bit disrespectful to the thesis/degree itself, I think she will agree to aim for, well, the greater good.
But fragments, put together too quickly? I write two pages on two songs from the AIDS Quilt Songbook and think, Ryan and Matt would both look skeptically at this – you're saying things that are obvious, that everyone knows, that's not research!
But if it makes my point, perhaps that's all right.
There is something so ridiculous, so terrifying – so easy, so why-didn't-I-get-used-to-this-years-ago – about being in this room, sunshine streaming in and women talking in the downstairs apartment, a Skype conversation with Mitchell in ten minutes – and continuing to be entirely conscious while standing in the midst of the madness of my complex on procrastination and writing.
And, as I've been for some weeks, intermittently standing in the midst of the terrible madness around AIDS: bursts of weeping, sleeping, remembering – the ways people died, the images and feelings – it is all so present: not constantly of course, that would be insane as it's all too charged to live with on a daily basis – but very, very often, it all comes up and is right here with me.
So the doom, and power, are reflections of myself – my relationship to death, to illness, to writing. So weird, to be aware of my weakness and my strength....
And I suppose this experience of writing is big enough, important enough, that even if they tell me I'll have to wait to graduate....
I've done the important thing.