11th May 2021
Day 2 of my writing retreat here at Vaughan Park started with a 6:00 am walk on Long Bay Beach. This place has its own unique character; runners passed me in the darkness and I was intrigued with the people walking their dogs who were already on the beach. Their owners each had head torches, but every dog had a light on its collar. As they ran madly up and down the beach, they looked like agitated fireflies lighting up the morning darkness.
For the last few months, I have been carrying this diagram in my project log folder. Early one morning, I began to take apart Proverbs 28:18, looking at what each phrase implied and how it affected my thinking.
I wrote about vision previously in Beyond and Beneath. Vision is a multi-faceted concept but in the context of my research and writing, it is about having clarity about what I am working on and why it matters. The academic mantra “Publish or Perish” is still true today; I have a thesis submission deadline looming on the 21st June next month that is creeping inexorably closer day-by-day…. (quickly repeats in his head “I love this stuff… I love this stuff … I really do… honestly…”) Vision for me now means that I have a plan, I know what my goals are. The discussion about the futility of planning and how goals matter more is for another time. For the moment, a vision without a clear set of goals, even if they are evolving day-by-day, is just a pipe dream. It’s not going to be realised anytime soon without knowing what priority to put on each goal, making daily progress, and completing a goal at a time.
It is also not any “the people” at the moment: its me. I, the author, will be the one who will perish without a vision. That makes it pretty personal at the moment.
How do I avoid perishing in a heap before I get to the finish of this journey next month? One way is by “keeping the law”. Right from the earliest days with my PGR2 Research Proposal, through my PGR9 Confirmation of Candidature, and during my research, I began to learn that there are time-proven methods or laws that define what good research looks like. Keeping great notes, making time to reflect and think, collaboration with trusted colleagues, writing every day (THAT’s a big one worthy of another discussion). Knowing when it is enough and that it is time to stop at the end of this pathway….
“Happy is he”. When its like that, it is so sweet on your tongue. No wonder the Scripture uses the metaphor of honey so often.
I love this stuff…
the next day: Solitude, stillness