Life is unpredictable. We had a lovely week of sunshine this past week only to wake up this morning with a mix of snow and rain. I wonder what will be the weather tomorrow. Life here in Norway for us as a family has mostly been consistent and stable, and this has been good for us during this ‘Sabbath’ season. But the unpredictability of the weather does remind me that it’s always good to be ready for the unexpected.
I have been missing from this blog which has been a big part of my ‘identity’ online at least since 2002. My absence appears to me to show that there are some ‘serious’ work offline that is going on. This is mainly the result of being part of this PhD journey personally, and also the ‘adventurous’ journey for our family.
Academically, it’s been and still is a learning curve more than just doing research, working with my material, and cracking my brains theoretically. I find myself reflecting quite deeply on other dimensions of my life and work. It’s not the right time to ‘announce’ what are the results of this process, only to say that it’s a work in progress. Then again, when does this process ever end? But I think if I look at my own journey as phases, then this has been quite a first year of what is planned to be a three year PhD.
I’m no Paul, but I do wonder what happened to him when he was away. I dare not even put myself next to Wittgenstein, but I suppose his time in Norway was significant. Then as I read and listen to the different contributions of the various philosophers or theologians I’m engaged in conversation with, quite a few had time away from their homeland. Often the context they were in were vastly different from their land of origin. My guess is that when one is confronted with so much change and adjustment, what was taken for granted is accentuated and then it sharpens the questions not only for their research projects and interests, but also makes one more self-conscious and with a little more push self-critical.
Of course, I could simply just get the ‘job’ done, and finally churn out a piece of work that may be of use to my intended audience. But my aim for this ‘long absence’ from home (not from this blog), has been to allow this ‘jump first, fear later’ initial process to transform into a serious ‘long walk to freedom’ that will be deep and lasting. So far, I think it’s happening one step at a time. A lot of inner dialogue is going on. The dialogue with those outside of me – dead or ‘alive’ – have been most rewarding indeed. The dialogues have been tough and challenging through out, but there are spurts of high energy and a push forward. All in all I’m curious who I will turn out after the polyphony of these voices.
So, we can only wait and see. For now, this little ‘return’ post is reconnect a little back to my ‘blog identity’ – and even that I’m curious how that will change. One thing is for sure, I’m trying to keep my writing here personal and not academic. It’s primarily a ‘garden’ to plant some thoughts, cultivate some ideas, and explore getting my hands dirty with what ever that’s floating in between my ears.