Sunday, August 28, 2005


A wall. A very nice wall, old, fertile, missing bricks here and there, no longer quite even and straight, with colour and texture and interest. But a wall nonetheless.

It's a wall, because there is nothing new, or finished, under the sun. Green socks are slowly growing, because anything knitted on 2mm takes its own time. The puzzle is behaving, but is clearly saving its mysteries for the blocking future, when with water and pins it might just stretch to something sensible. Baby jackets and lace stoles and entrelac scarves are hanging around, hanging around.

And the wall is there because if I don't actually open a computer file, and start work-writing, well then, the wall still stands. And as walls go, it seems quite a nice one. But the wall needs to go, or I need to throw a crash mat over, and find a ladder.

Now, I've seen friends finish their PhDs, and I've helped along the way. I've held hands, cheered on, gone 'what the ...?', and proof-read. I pay my fees, go to meetings, do fieldwork, read, ask questions, take notes and notes and notes, and think about it all the time. It is there, hovering, within eyesight, within earshot, at the corner of my eye, screaming into my face. Sometimes, it even behaves nicely, kindly, entrancingly. But mainly, I watch. Because doing is hard. But with practice, I'm hoping, it becomes easier, just as old walls crumble and fall into interesting piles of brick.