I’ve been reading Margaret Mead’s autobiography Blackberry Winter as pre-game nerdery for my PhD orientation on Friday. It’s amazing to read her story, and to learn more about how she structured her life around her passion for understanding human culture. Whether using her gender to access specific ceremonies, or choosing her husbands for their complementary fieldwork styles, her story is consistently one of someone who used what she had to study what she wanted. Fairly often this mean a focus on the lives of children.
Then there was a paragraph devoted to the ‘waste’ of researchers who would go off on fieldwork trips and return with piles of notes that only they could read. She bemoaned the notes left behind, utterly incomprehensible, by anthropologists who were off on their next expedition, and swore that she would complete all of her write-ups before starting any new projects. And she did, because she was Margaret Mead and thus a total bad ass.
Sigh. These are my notes from the summer. I’m currently up to August 4th, which isn’t very up-to-date at all. But maybe if I escape the siren call of terrible in-flight movies I’ll charge through another few memory scraps? Seems the best possible thing to do, while flying through the dark night of stars.