Monday, December 1, 2008

Work of the Mind

There is a great quote from John O'Donohue's Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom:

"I was raised on a farm….. There is great satisfaction in farmwork. Even though it is difficult, you still see a great return for your work. When I left home, I entered the world of thought, writing, and poetry. This work is in the invisible realm. When you work in the territory of mind, you see nothing. Only sometimes are you given the slightest little glimpse of the ripples from your effort. You need great patience and self-trust to sense the invisible harvest in the territory of the mind. You need to train the inner eye for the invisible realms where thoughts can grow, and where feelings put down their roots." (p. 134)

It's so true--the work of academics, of graduate school and beyond is a work that is hard to see, difficult to quantify, and that often seems like it is not progressing.

For all my friends who are dissertating: keep going! You may not see the progress, but you must trust that your work will come to something.