I want to write. I need to write. I am an academic. It’s what I am supposed to do. I’m supposed to write. I’m a student. I’m a PhD student, in the middle of a large university, in the centrality of a global city. Perfect. I know where I am at. I know some of the identities I get to make a claim on. I know I am here, and I know I am writing because I believe in words. I am a writer because I believe words have power, they have an energy. The power and energy of words is significant. Power and energy and the words which inscribe and express are like the people who use them, who leverage the written and the spoken, the contested and the debatable. I know the power and energy of words is significant because I have used words my whole life. I have used words my whole life to express, to explain, to explore, to understand. I want to write. I need to write. I am an academic. That’s what I am supposed to do.
I have been sitting a lot recently. I have been sitting at home, I have been sitting at coffee shops, the usual haunts. I have been sitting a lot, grappling with what has been swirling around me. I have been sitting, so I can try to find some stillness. I have been sitting a lot recently. I have been sitting at the window. I have been sitting at the gym. I have been sitting at the table, talking to my friends. And I have been listening. I have been sitting and I have been listening. I have been listening, not with my ears but with my heart. I have been sitting and I have been listening from a space in my soul. And I have been trying. I have been trying and I have been sitting and I have been listening.
And the words are a lot. When you are a writer, and you sit a lot, and you listen a lot, I think you start to feel a lot. And often when you feel a lot it can get kind of sort of difficult to know, sometimes, where you are sitting, and what you are listening to, and what you are hearing. And I have been listening a lot and I have been thinking a lot about what I have been hearing. And I have been hearing a lot and feeling a lot. It’s a lot. And I have been retreating a lot. I have been sitting a lot and writing a lot and reading a lot and thinking a lot and retreating a lot. I have been retreating and quieting a lot.
And I have come to 5 small reminders. These 5 small reminders are for a world which doesn’t need my ten-cents, my privilege, my aggrandising. These 5 reminders, in no particular order, are as much for me. I share them because I am permitted, for any number or reasons, to believe in my words. I am an academic. I am an educationalist. I am a writer. I am a thinker. I am one, of many, who have trust that what I offer I offer because it means something to me. That’s how I live, like life means something to me. Like the lives of others means something to them. And that we have only to write, to listen, to sit, to hear, to share, to be…
1. The world is a complex place, filled with complex space. Appreciate its beauty.
2. Spend your time as you would spend your fortune, for its expansion of experience. Appreciate your beauty.
3. Diversity of thought and opinion can lead to an unfolding that doesn’t have a predictable outcome. Appreciate the beauty of unfolding.
4. Care deeply, sit quietly, listen fully, and allow totally. Appreciate the allowing part…it’s important.
5. More than being right, than being first, than being an independent thinker, being here has taught me that I need a team…a group…a tribe…a family to keep calm and carry on through every day.
Appreciate that others will show up for you like you show up for them.
I want to write. I need to write. I am an academic. But mostly, I want to Live. I want to Live fully.
My very best, always