And just like that, October arrived. Emerging from September
and the library simultaneously, I scanned the streets for
traces of stolen time. Where did it go? Who took it?
And for how long have I been living off Farmbake
From after the 8th, any continuing obsession with John Keats
won't be able to be blamed on an English dissertation, and
will instead be embarrassingly indicative of some geeky
"I still don't understand why you're writing an entire
dissertation on three lines." "Two," I corrected my friend,
"Two lines." Even as short as they are, two is far and away
enough! The limit of 20,000 words has proved to be much more
difficult to abide by than initially anticipated.
Obviously, I'm not a "big picture" person.
Some people advise against sweating the small stuff, but I'd
argue that life is in the details.
Ten years later, I can still remember the emotional anguish
induced by a rather "big-picture"-focused primary school
assignment: Describe your summer holiday.
Staring at the question, unable to recall exactly what I was
doing, who I was with, or even where I was forever-ago when
the break began, I panicked. Panicking continued for the next
fortnight during which the story should have been written.
Six weeks is such an overwhelmingly long time for a young
mind to comprehend, and unfortunately the deadline came and
went but the pages of my little exercise book remained blank.
"Katie," said Mrs Liquorice, "Where is your writing?" Several
stories had been started, I explained. Some were about
specific moments, others described the happenings of single
days, and a few had attempted to encompass longer periods of
time (a week, perhaps, or even two).
All fell short of answering the set question. Page after page
was ripped from its staples and round-filed in dramatic fits
of 12-year-old girlish anger.
Pens went flying, doors slammed, small feet stomped, and mad
hot tears reddened and puffed up my eyelids.
And Mrs Liquorice just thought I was lazy. Perhaps -
subconsciously - I was.
It's not an option, at university, to submit blank pages in
response to a rather difficult homework task.
Luckily, we're able to write our own questions for
dissertations; hence my narrow subject matter.
However, the problem with addressing seemingly small
questions is that they undoubtedly lead into further
questions. The interrelatedness of art in general blurs the
boundaries between literature and visual art, music and
history, classics and sociology ... I'm constantly dreaming
up new topics to study, once I've got this one quite out of
the way. Is it still daydreaming if you're awake and it's the
middle of the night?
When even two lines become too immense, I refer to the
oft-prescribed advice: Break it down, one bite at a time,
small enough to chew, and so on. Ah ha, owing to some
cross-wiring of internal communication, this has led to
demolition of the aforementioned Farmbake cookies.
I prefer my mother's advice: Just do what must be done.