May 19, 2005

Life is a perpetual state of partial death

Category: Personal — Biella @ 5:58 pm

I am on the verge of finishing a large project. The defense date has been set and receiving the announcement on the anthropology mailing list was nothing short of strange. I could process my name and abstract. After all, I wrote it. But for the past eight years I have received these announcements never really believing that I would finally reach the end. My time in Chicago will soon be archived in the vaults of my memory, brought to bear probably when I am done with another project.

Whenever I finish off a largish project, I experience something akin to what seems like death. I mourn. And as part of this mourning, a flood of memories start to populate my mind. I enter into this revved up nostalgic mode where I travel into the past, unwillingly. Memories that I thought were lost start to cascade down from the mind and into the body, striking every sense of mine. The memories are a truly random assortment. The image may be a small detail, like the pink and purple wild flowers on the side of the road in West Virginia that were remarkably stunning as they waved in the wind. Or something more enveloping like the thunderstorms in Guyana South America that inspired fear and awe and left the capital under brown water. The list goes on and on. They are my fondest, most vibrant memories and I can’t, even if I tried, stop them from coming to me every time I am done with something that I will now consider as

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