Monday, October 23, 2006

Procrastination is painful.

I have always been one to procrastinate. Even when I was little - my dad called it "the Jesse Parade". Even now he calls it that.

I do so much to break through. Last night I meditated to clear my head, turned off the music, cleared off the table, and compiled a to-the-minute schedule of how I would write the two papers that are due Wednesday night. When it was time to get to Time Block One: Making the Outline, I stared at the page for a solid thirty minutes. That was half of Time Block One. I was going to be behind schedule all over again, and a new schedule would have to be devised.

It's terrible to be me working on a paper.

I have an active imagination, which is usually a blessing. I would have had such a lifeless childhood without it. The problem is that I don't need physical distractions to make my mind wander. It has never been classified as ADD, and I have never considered it as such. I always thought it was this sort of intellectual hedonism that drew my mind into things that pleased me more than the task at hand.

Yesterday my Furor Poeticus paper on the near-equivalence of femininity and madness in The Bacchae and Ajax was clouded by thoughts of the third book of the Maisie Dobbs series, which I had finished Saturday afternoon. The books satisfy all that I want in a book: I am taken to another place, in another time, I am discovering new things, I am learning about something I'd never considered, and I can't put the thing down.

Maisie is a sleuth/psychologist in late-1920s London who still suffers from memories of the Great War, in which she served as a nurse at a casualty clearing station in France. Her approach to solving cases is mostly meditative and empathetic, and determining who the Bad Guy is takes until the very end of the book, as each suspect is considered without bias.

Recently the books by Jacqueline Winspear have stimulated a latent curiosity about World War I, about which I really only learned while depressed one summer in London and Belgium. And now I wish I had felt more of an interest while walking the trenches in Ypres or looking at the paintings in the Imperial War Museum. At any rate, I don't have any time to learn what I want to at present.

I have a paper to write.

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