Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Test flight

My bags are all packed and the room cleaned out - am ready to  begin the physical journey home (the mental and spiritual journey began a long time ago).  But it feels funny because I am not heading home just yet.  That flight is on the 12th June.  

Before then I will be in Romania for a wedding and then will meet up with a friend and we'll travel up to Ireland, take an organic gardening course at the Centre for Alternative Technology and then pop through Schumacher College for a few days.  THEN the real goodbyes will happen and I will be on a flight back to Calgary.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

guru --er--- teacher and guide--- yes.

While I understand the concept - I have never been quite comfortable with the ease that many people accept a guru or spiritual master into their life.  Some have explained to me that it is part of the practice to surrender your growth to the master who knows better than you the journey...  surrender without questioning - probably something I am not good at.

I wouldn't call her a guru nor is this about spiritual matters - but I can begin to understand the trust you can place in someone as your guide through a journey that is new to you and that they have been through with many others.  My thesis advisor  is proving to be a guide in more than just my thesis; it is also a lesson in surrendering (a bit) to someone and letting them guide me through the process without having to question or rebel when they say "what you need to do next is"...  it helps that she gives really 'good' (meaning ones that are congruent with me) reasons for her suggestions.  But my trust in her comes from the fact that it is a very new path to walk for me (this writing a thesis of 30,000 thing) and I need her guidance.  It is a lesson in being able to accept help, guidance and to need another.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Circling the Labyrinth

This week I spent quite a bit of time mapping out the scope and timeline of my thesis, going through lists of books and websites that I have bookmarked over the last months, talking through my ideas with our course tutors.  I realised what I have been doing is circling around the outside of the labyrinth that I am about to enter.  

Over the last months - the labyrinth has become a physical presence and a deep metaphor for me.  The overall process as well as many small processes (each paper, for examples) that I have gone through here has felt like walking a labyrinth.  Walking deep inside the pattern, the image - sometimes I am able to let go and enjoy the journey, knowing I will be led out again; other times feeling like I am in a maze that I won't find a way out of.  Knowing the process of writing my thesis will be like this - I have been preparing myself, mentally and emotionally, to step again onto the Labyrinth's path.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When it comes to thinking about and planning for writing my thesis - I have been at this for months.  My topic emerged and clicked for me in early November and has been with me through the lessons, long walks, conversations and readings since.  I have anticipated this moment: when all the 'work' in front of me related to it and I am to focus, solely, on research and writing about "How resilient are the farming communities of East Central Alberta (Canada)?"

And I woke up with a familiar feeling - anxiety, doubt and apprehension combined with excitement, confidence and consciousness.  From the recent experience of writing the 5 short papers for our courses - this feeling is familiar.  It is a similar feeling that one might get on the morning of a long journey.  You have a rough idea of what lies in front of you and the milestones along the way, and even know when you expect to return.  You know why you are taking the journey and are excited for the unexpected events that you know you can't and shouldn't plan for...  but the ambiguity and the knowing that you will have to get a bit lost and spun around in order to fully enjoy the trip creates a bit of caution and nervousness.

So here I am - finishing up packing my bags (metaphorically) and getting ready to step out the door into the journey ahead.  The sun is shining across the garden and the birds are singing a tune of encouragement - so I shall face the blank paper, reveling in the tingle along my spine.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hello... again

After many months (years?) of hiatus from writing and blogging - I am back online.
Short update is that I have spent the last 7 months in the south west of the UK at Schumacher College. I am doing the MSc in Holistic Science and in a few short weeks leave here and head back to Canada in order to complete my thesis (due the end of September) and to begin my next phase of life there.

Yes - I am moving back to Canada after around 10 years abroad... and I can't wait. No place has called to me as much as the prairie skies of Alberta.

And this blog is a way of capturing and sharing this part of my journey.