“Where have you been?” you ask. Because I don’t think I’ve updated this blog so intermittently since I first created it, in November. But I’ve never before been so close to my dissertation defense, either. So that’s where I’ve been, preparing and just trying to keep up with daily life, which is particularly full of teaching right now. In a little while, I have to work on creating an assignment and planning for tomorrow. But I’m taking a few minutes to write something here, really anything, so I don’t forget how. I feel almost as though I’m in danger of that.
Today was like all the days I’ve been having recently, in that almost nothing happened: I drove into the city to drop off some books with my first reader, and then I met with some students. And then I drove back. But on the drive back, I noticed that it was Farmer’s Market day in Lexington. So I stopped by the market and walked around. There was produce, eggs, meat (lamb and fish), honey, breads and pastries of various sorts. I bought myself a plastic cup of apple cider and a multigrain bun with raisins. I also bought two whole-wheat pastries with raspberry jam filling for later, to share with Ophelia. And – I couldn’t resist this – I bought a bunch of oyster mushrooms, all growing together, the loveliest gray, the most interesting shapes. What to do with them? I think I’ll just sautée them with onions and put them on toast, so I can really taste them. There was something so calm, so right, about walking around among the booths, seeing the various things people had for sale. Some from real farms, some just from small businesses.
It made me think about the life I want to live. It doesn’t involve going to the grocery store once a week and stuffing foods into an enormous refrigerator. It involves growing things, but also going to farmer’s markets and buying things, bringing them back home, cooking. (I’ve missed cooking lately. There’s no time to cook when you’re finishing a doctoral dissertation.) It made me think, with nostalgia, of living in Europe, going to the small markets several times a week to buy bread, cheese, sausages, tomatoes. And of walking around Budapest, along the narrow streets, so many of which seem to have ice cream shops on them. (But Hungarian ice cream is completely different from American ice cream. It’s more like gelato and comes in many more flavors.)
I think I’ll eventually be able to create that life for myself. I just have to figure out how. And at the moment, I’m too tired even to think about it. But it was nice to stop by the farmer’s market today, to walk around on the grass, drinking apple cider, looking at the honey soaps, the lavender creams, the hand-made pottery, the tiny eggplants and giant tomatoes.
Now, I’m going to get back to preparing. But I’m going to try to update this blog more regularly, even if I can’t update it every day (for now). After all, I need to keep writing, simply to remind myself that I can, and I’m not doing much of it at the moment. So I might as well at least write here.
(And here, by the way, is a link to the Lexington Farmer’s Market, in case you’re ever in the area.)
Lovely day away in Lexington–just the sort of thing you ought to be doing while the weather is fine. I’ve been saving this for awhile, waiting for your next post–Dissertation Trivia to cheer you on and keep your spirits light–enjoy.
“I think I’ll eventually be able to create that life for myself. I just have to figure out how.”
You will. You’re already doing it.
You’ve probably heard this quote from Rilke: ” Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you will not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
Dear Dr. Dora,
I see from you your Twitter feed that you’ve defended your doctoral dissertation–Congratulations!