Saturday, September 10, 2011

I planted seeds today

I've been thinking about what to do with this blog -- whether I should close up shop or start a new one or let this one morph quite a bit. The truth is that not only do I have less time to focus on academic work, I find I don't really want to spend my free time thinking or writing about work either. I'm still reading y'all's blogs, but I just don't have anything to say about my job. I'm behind on grading, as usual. My to-do list is insane. I have this committee report hanging over my head and walloping me in the eyes. I don't know whether I want to work on the Article Slightly Outside My Field, but I know I sure don't have time for it. Who wants to spend any free time at all talking about all that? After so many years of building a career and carving out a research agenda and living my life around my career, I now want it to be just a job, no longer my whole life. I want to de-colonize my mind. I am more than my job.

Part of this may be temporary, as I was burned out big time by this time last year.

What I do want to talk about is how I recently hacked at and finally uprooted a climbing rose gone to seed (and mounded in a big bush rather than draped on the trellis, which had fallen) from the raised bed, then added three cubic feet of the best organic soil I could find, and then, today, seeded it with 2 kinds of lettuce, spinach, arugula (a lot of it!), leeks, kale, calendula, and nasturtiums. It is totally ridiculous to be starting a fall garden this late, and a winter garden is only possible here in greenhouses of one sort or another. But I don't care. We're all here: the place, the soil, the seeds, and me. So we'll do what we can. I did get very cold tolerant varieties, so much so that the kale should be harvestable in the snow. But it is sort of ridiculous. But it also occurs to me lately that some very good work in the world gets done because some naive person doesn't realize that what they're trying to do is impossible. Impossible Harvest? At Impossible Farm.

Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said 'one can't believe impossible things.'

'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. '

The title of Absurdist Paradise was always meant to describe academia. When I was not part of academia for that half year or so, the blog became more about my life, which also felt absurd. But now I want to spend my time focusing on gardening/farming/homesteading and Big Non Academic Project (BigNAP?). I want a space in my life to focus on those parts of my life that I wish could grow into bigger chunks of my life. But I'm not sure y'all are interested in my little family's long road to homesteading. I'm not sure this blog is the right place to discuss that. But our little family has to do something, because it sure doesn't feel like this so-called "normal life" is sustainable, from a spiritual point of view for us. (I don't mean religious. I mean this life so rubs against the grain -- it just feels wrong and abrasive. Meaningless.)

Even if nothing comes up in Impossible Farm's raised bed, I'll be planting garlic within the next month or two. October-December. That at least shouldn't end a shambles.

You think I should start a new blog?

Over and out.


feMOMhist said...

just my two cents, but its the overlap between life and academia that makes me read certain blogs, so I'm more than happy to hear all and sundry.

What Now? said...

I think "Absurdist Paradise" could range far and wide, touching on any number of topics. The title certainly works for it (and you could just change or expand your blog description subtitle), your readers are up for anything, and why shouldn't your blog be what you want it to be?

Good luck with your fall farm!

Anonymous said...

I agree with feMOMhist and What Now? And I'll also add that sometime the new digs and new identity is what is needed. So the point is, do what feels right for you and the blog. Your readers will follow. :)

heu mihi said...

I would LOVE to read about your family's adventures in homesteading. Frankly, I'm more interested in reading about that than I am about article-writing or grading or what have you. Most of the "academic" bloggers I read just happen to be academics, and blog about academia pretty infrequently.

And it doesn't matter to me where you blog--just give us a heads-up if you switch locale!

Belle said...

All of the above. This is your place - transform at will!

QueSera said...

I agree with everyone else. Use the space as you need to and we'll read.

Anonymous said...

I understand the lure of starting fresh, and as you know, I've experimented with that. But what it taught me was that it's completely fine to morph a current blog in a new direction instead. Not that I pulled that off because I didn't--I'm just saying it's your blog and whatever you choose to write about is cool!

Just let us know where you go, if you do, so we can follow you! :)

Earnest English said...

Y'all are just lovely lovely.

I'm thinking and considering. But it's nice to know that whatever I decide, y'all are interested in reading more.

It was just lovely to get online and see 7! comments!

Have an incredibly long list of work things to do today (big day teaching), AL's staying home with a sick Tot, and all I want to do is stay home and talk to my seeds, coach them into splitting open and putting up dicots, then leaves, in time to grow grow grow and get settled before the frost comes, which, if they're too young and unsettled, will wither them to the ground.

Tiger Mom PhD said...

It seems that I'm late in the game, but I wanted to add another supportive comment and say, I agree with everyone else. :)

Also, looking forward to hearing about the garden and what happens to it. I will follow you whether you stay here and change things up a bit or if you move over and out.

rented life said...

Garlic! yum. I would totally like to live near you as you harvest your garlic! Re: gardening--I used to do those kinds of things in teh fall too. Sometimes the plants took, sometimes I lost then. But sometimes I lost them when I did it in the spring. You can't predict and you can't always follow the "rules". If it doesn't take, it just means experimenting with something else. That's what I loved about the process.

I'll follow as well. I've been debating similar things, but I'm not sure if moving will help so much as changing what I write where I'm at. Sorry I'm so late to comment, our internet has been a bit of a pain. :/ We're looking for a new provider!