Nope. That’s not me. In truth, I have never fallen off a real horse (and that is not because I am good at it, rather it’s because I have never actually ridden a horse). [However folks, I do perform all of my own real-life stunts.] Still, this image exemplifies what I feel must surly have happened to me this summer if only metaphorically. You see, the horse represents the progress of my dissertation; we (the dissertation and I) were trotting along at a nice clip this past spring when -at some point later in the summer- our ‘trotting’ turned to stalling, which seems to have now manifested itself into a state of total thesis paralysis.
In an attempt to resuscitate myself from this ‘thesis paralysis’, over the past two weeks I have: read two articles on gender and craft, read ‘sections’ of at least 5 books, sewed 12 canvas bags, organized the ‘lazy-susan’ in our kitchen, baked 3 batches of muffins, 2 loaves of banana bread, 1 batch of chocolate chip bread rolls, one double batch of pizza dough, made a pot of fresh leak and potato soup, canned 1 extra large jar of pasta sauce, and made 10 jars of extremely hot salsa. And still… I got nothing for that damn dissertation.
But I am forcing myself to write ‘something’ today, even if it is only this blog entry. It’s not “nothing” and that’s a start.. A wise friend of mine posted recently, “writing is about doing the work. Even when it sucks and turns out terribly, you write to push open the door so that great ideas can walk in. They don’t always. In those times, you write because words, when used by careful people, can cure loneliness in all directions”. (AJ Ripley, Trans Canada (My Way): Week 76)
And wait..maybe ‘something-more’ is coming. It is not tightly woven, yet it does feel like it might be idea soon..
My dissertation is about the negative gendering of materials in art and in pedagogy, and I am currently trying to think my way though artist Ann Newdigate‘s statement, “The medium [textiles], belonging everywhere and nowhere, is everything and nothings. It is what you think, and it conjures what you don’t know and can’t remember – it has no certainty.” (1995) in connection with to UK artist Grayson Perry’s assertion that “the decorative impulse of textile (art)…act(s) as a form of resistance: womanliness as masquerade, as camouflage, as a way to protect oneself from the dominant order.” (Perron 1998: 122) Could the overlap of these statements be understood to say “As women (textiles) we are constantly masquerading – as everything and as nothing – we have no certainty as we seek to protect ourselves, resisting the dominant order”..
Where is that damn horse?!..