I’ve been here before.

Standing at the crossroad of Dissertation and Life, or what I imagine life to look like, anyway, when unsaddled by a dissertation.

I’m leaving! I proclaim victoriously. I’m free! I’m happy! I’m never looking back! ….HA! HA! HeeeeeYAAAAAAA!

[And so I start packing my moving boxes. And there, on the shelves, are so many books that I'll no longer need. No longer any need to pack them up and bring them along. But....what to do with them then? Give them away? Sell them? Throw them out?]

No. Way.

Can’t do it.

And just like that, I know I’ve got to pack them. And I know what it means.

It’s an albatross, this dissertation, but it’s MY albatross, you know? I mean, really, what am I gonna do without my albatross? Everyone needs one; who am I to let mine go? Would I end up being some uncomplicated, carefree, joyful sprite of a girl without it? From whence would my dark, brooding soul spring? Gotta see it through gotta see it through gotta see it through. [Jo, I hear you groaning...]

The truth is that the crossroad of Dss and Life is really more of a two-lane highway which allows for occasional passing in the oncoming lane. I rarely pick up my own camera without thinking about the documentary photography of 1930s and 40s America I’ve been working on for years now. In a library, pouring over Walker Evans’s negatives for “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” I first started to think seriously about technique and effect of image-making. If I am going to abandon a life of the mind for a life of the still frame, I kind of owe it to my dissertation to see it through.

So I guess all I really need to keep motivating myself to finish the project is just to keep on quitting it every now and then.

Updated Angstometer reads: the dss is still on.

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2 Responses to “note to self: refrain from making public pronouncements on subjects of profound ambivalence to self”

  1. Adela says:

    I think you’ve turned it into a beautiful albatross.

  2. Kelly says:

    Just got caught up with your blog (congratulations about the new baby! and about Andy’s new job! and your other assorted adventures!). Have to say that I am with you on the life/diss/albatross/cities/moving to other countries/packing books thing. It helps to know that there are other drivers on this road. :)

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