Poor stitching?

I own plenty of bags of different sizes and of varying degrees of tatty-ness. However, none of them seem to want to hold together in order to be lugged back and forth for days on end. They have either reached their expiry date, or they pull at my sore back in particularly uncomfortable ways.

I could just go shopping, but that would require deciding what I want. I could just carry around less. I own so many bags, it seems sensible to just change my habits so that the bags I already have become suitable. However, if I take a backpack anyway, just in case I have to stop off and get some things on my way home, I may as well take that extra book. Those papers may as well come too; chances are I will forget them tomorrow. What I carry around, the bag I put it all in and whether I go hunting for things before heading off in the morning, or just grab what I took yesterday and go, are decisions negotiated in relation to each other.

The metaphor is a bit meaningless until an interpretation is offered. Or perhaps [a more accurate conclusion is] I have the sense that I could present my frustrating experience with just trying to cart things around without having to think about it as an analogy for so many different aspects of life. This very openness seems to illustrate something of the current bind in which I find myself.

I want to have conceptual understandings that allow me to unpack my ‘data’, and I want to bring my fieldwork experiences to be able to appreciate and extend the ideas I am slowly starting to get my head around. However, sometimes the ideas I am interested in seem to only make sense when worked out far outside my fieldwork. It is hard to decide whether this is so uncomfortable because it shows up the deficiencies in the concepts underpinning the design of my project, or if it is uncomfortable because it shows up that I did not push my fieldwork far enough. I am sure both these issues are interrelated.

If I can find the time to let my ideas fall apart a little bit, and then the time to piece them back together, perhaps I will be able to sew my own creation. This will require plenty of planning, which is a bit disconcerting because I was never very good at taking the time to draft a pattern. In fact, I never even learnt to draft patterns when it comes to sewing. So here I am at that awkward tension between wanting help, wanting control and knowing that nobody can find a path for me.

I have plenty of ways of reflecting on the same thing. However, none of them seem to result in a sudden enthusiasm for plodding through chapter drafts.


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