Novak (novak) wrote,
Novak
novak

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Personal: Recovery; Dissertating; Sexy Brain; Pics

I find that I seem to be more tired than I expected after the week in Wyoming. I think it's more of an emotional exhaustion than a physical one: the physical exertion of climbing and hiking was more invigourating than not, I think. But though I find that it is impossible to "quantify" effort in prayer, meditation and conversation, it seems that it was those activities that have left me feeling drained. Diane was excited about hanging out when I got back, but was exceptionally perceptive and cool in telling me to take a bit of space: we'll do something this coming week, after I've had a bit of a breather.

No more than five minutes after I had walked in the door of my apartment, I received a surprise phone call from my dissertation director, Professor Fahey, now retired at Boston College. He knew my timetable for traveling and the retreat, but I had to start laughing at the appearance of his eagerness for me to get started on the work for the summer. He was in fact just making a friendly call about something else, but I still smile at hearing his voice just after I had arrived home, and my initial assumption that he was calling to dog me on to work: my eyebrows shot right off the top of my head and I had to go pick them up off the floor while we talked. I've started poking at the thing, and I think I'm writing my third chapter before my second, since I think the third – which is my most "theoretical" – might be able to influence the insights I come up with in my second, more so than the reverse.

I also received an anonymous message off of Facebook telling me that I had a sexy brain. That was both complimentary and (potentially) disappointing in its anonymity. So I have a sexy brain. The image that comes to my mind is a 1930s gothic horror movie, of me with my sexy brain in a jar on a shelf in my apartment, where occasionally I look at it fondly as it pulses in its bubbling and mysterious liquid.

I'll continue writing up the trip. I had started another entry in Denver International Airport during my three-hour layover there, but it got lost when my laptop unexpectedly went into sleep mode with 15% of my battery power left. At least I know where that cutoff is now.

Michael Wurtz, C.S.C., (Happy Birthday to Michael!) posted some of his photography from the retreat on his new blog (on "Blogspot," alas! I couldn't convince him to switch over to the much more adaptable and cool LiveJournal), and I've copied those over into my own photo album. He had a particular eye, I notice, for shooting us while we were praying and meditating, unbeknownst to us at the time. I've never seen myself in such images before, which was strange – in this case as I paced around the grounds strumming on the guitar last Sunday; has it already been a week?! – and I found these images to be strangely moving and sensitive: perhaps a bit of an artistic achievement, or perhaps a case of "You had to be there." I don't know for sure. But it captured a bit of what made the long weekend together a powerful one.
Tags: dissertation, fahey, friends-notre dame era, mysticism/spirituality, personal, photography, sexuality, travel-2008 wyoming
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