I'm writing a conference talk about a man I've discussed twice already this year, and many more times than that in the past. I know this work inside out, and I know much more about it now than I did a year ago. And yet, frustratingly, the fact that I know more about it now doesn't mean that my audience this week will know anything about it at all--which means that I'm in the process of trying to sum up a lot of knowledge in a very short time, and with too many illustrations.
But really, can one ever have too many illustrations of a manuscript? Because I keep answering that question in the negative, I keep packing away at this narrative I'm going to tell.
Tonight I ventured back into the dining hall for the first time since my friend left on Monday. I haven't been avoiding the dining hall this week; I just haven't been here. Had I been here, though, I would probably have been avoiding it, simply because I've been thinking that all my dining companions have left. And yet this evening I discovered that that's simply not true.
And so I came back from dinner feeling as though more work was a distinct possibility, and three hours later, I was still at it when the fireworks began. But I was starting to flag, and the show--over beside the river, I think--reminded me that it would be just fine to stop for now, and that in the morning things may be simpler, as they usually are in the morning.
It's easy to forget that it's a holiday if you're not in your own country on Independence Day. But I am turning that way, bit by bit. I don't know whether it's going to feel like home when I get there. In some ways, this place doesn't feel like home either. This particular place, yes. The larger place within which my particular place is situated, no. It seems just possible to me that I have entered a moment in my life where my mind and heart will feel homeless, peculiarly without proper place, for awhile.