Of course, the problem is that I can't really write that blog post without also writing about my research, and that brings me nose up to the brick wall between my world and this blog. Sometimes I feel like I'm lying on top of that wall, naked and exposed for all to see. But more often, I feel like I'm throwing missives over the wall and hoping they come down on the other side in half the condition they left. I hope the trip hasn't altered them too terribly. I'm often so excited and honored by the very smart people who read and comment on my blog, and I very much want to offer them something of myself, unmasked, in return. It seems absurd I can't even offer my name.
Perhaps, though, it's the mask that makes all of this possible. Perhaps I would never toss these messages out to all of you if I thought you'd know who sent them. Perhaps what I call prudence is really possibility. Perhaps having such a wall on one side allows me to demolish other barriers that are in place in my every day life.
I don't know. What I do know is that my research is making me laugh this week, and I want to say something here about the way that is rejuvenating and reassuring. I don't just mean that it often takes me out of myself and out of the seriousness of the moment. I also mean that I often know I'm on the right research track when something amuses me. My project is actually based on a foundation in which I knew my sources should be examined together because they all cracked me up in exactly the same way. (Yeah, that was hard to explain at the proposal defense.) Every time I giggle inappropriately in the reading room, I know I was right about that. I know it's going to work out. But it's just not amusing in the abstract. You'll have to trust me.