Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Megillah Project Continued

The paper-cutting phase of the project is done. There are a few little patches of color in the black, white, and gray, and now I've gone on to the text. The labor-intensive, super annoying portion of hand-writing every word of the book of Kohelet into this thing.

In pen.

I know it's been a bit longer than usual between updates, and that's for a very simple reason: for a while, I stopped working on it.

No, I didn't quit. But as I explained before, my inspiration for starting this project with Kohelet, and at this particular moment of time was, well, that I was having a hard time dealing. Going through some stupid crap, for lack of a more eloquent term. So every time I was having a moment of panic, sadness, anger or life-questioning, I would deal with it by sitting down and working on this project.

Thankfully, thank you G-d, those moments have of late been fewer and farther between. There's been some great new developments in my life, a couple of steps forward, more happy experiences that have made me think a lot less of those big scary monsters in life.

But in my determination to finish the project, I attempted to just do it. AKA, to work on it without life-questions, and I found that it either made me think of the things that were giving me a hard time in the first place (as counterproductive as you can get), or I'd slack off after ten minutes. The idea of falling back into moments of sad panic was so frightening that I stopped working on it at all. I didn't (and don't) want to feel like that any longer.

Then, on a good day, during an afternoon I was spending in lively computer conversation, I looked at that big, half-finished piece of work and thought, it's a process. I'm not going to put off the process. This piece, this work, represents a lot more than questioning and frustration to me. It's my process of working through a challenging time. And part of working though anything involves the good days, not only the bad. So I sat down to write, but kept the conversation going at the same time. And in a few hours of laughing and chatting, I had finished three chapters of Kohelet. That's a quarter of the way through the book. And when I stopped for the day, it wasn't because I was frustrated, it was because it was late at night and my back and head hurt from the hours of sitting there bent over a desk.

That's my favorite reason to stop working. Because you feel like you've done all you can for the day. It feels wonderfully productive.

So here's where the project is now:

I'm looking at a new challenge with it, namely the concern of whether I'll even be able to fit the whole text into the space allotted without making it "too busy," but I'll figure that out along the way (suggestions are welcome).

I'm looking forward to getting it done. Like my hard semester, I see an end date for this work, and I can't wait to reach it, and look at how far I've come since my first awful week of grad school.

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