All posts filed under: Field Notes


The rituals of a return to the field

When I returned to the United States for my graduate degree, I promised I would stay put for a little bit. I declared this the ‘age of (semi-) permanence‘ and even purchased a bookshelf or three to anchor myself in Boston. I put nails in the wall and unpacked every box and suitcase and bought polka-dotted wine glasses at the nearby Goodwill store and went through the rituals of nesting with gusto. In early January I wrote: “But I am learning permanence now, if you will, and part of that requires making peace with the part of me that will always, always want to be the girl who goes.” In the months that have passed since then, I have made peace with the fact that the girl who longs to stay and the girl who wishes to go inhabit the same body. There is a part of me that feels like my happiest, most alive, most invigorated self ‘in the field’, doing the work I love, asking the questions that drive me. And there is …