I’m in the middle of taking notes on a source for my dissertation and was just struck by a vision I haven’t had in many many months. It was not a vision like that of an oracle or a prophet, just an image, an idea of what life as a scholar can be like, what I hope it will be like in the future. For just a brief moment and without consciously conjuring the image, I visualized myself in front of a warm fire on a winter evening, sipping tea, reading either for research or teaching, jotting down notes, and recalling with a smile the stimulating conversations I’d had earlier in the day on campus. That’s how I used to think about my time in grad school and what I hoped to create in the future as an academic. This past year has made it very difficult to attach any positive meanings to the idea of being a scholar, but this fleeting mental picture has given me renewed hope for the joy to be found in intellectual pursuits.
I’ll have several new blog posts up shortly on my recent adventures in the archives, the market in Aix-en-Provence, and Barcelona!