reflections on self-directed research

May 7, 2014

some days I think my ability to come unwound is the most spectacular thing ever. they should put me on show. if you could walk through the clanging-ticking-echoing corridors of the labyrinth that is my head, I would charge admission.

figuring myself out is mostly composed of observation. taking notes, like a botanist or entomologist with a particularly fascinating species of plant or bird or bug; waiting for changes, detailing hypotheses based on alterations to patterns, keeping methodical records. problem, of course, being that the species under study is the instrument doing the study, and a flawed and faulty instrument at that. my life is action inquiry; it is a small-scale deeply private sociological study for the purpose of sustained change. I should take more notes. I should keep a log. I’m already doing enough reading for a literature review. I should write it up as an AI-phenomenology hybrid and hand it in as a research essay; it’ll kill.


in all my observations, I have never figured out precisely what species I am. I have too much data and I’m far, far too close, counting all the tiny veins of a leaf and detailing every shadow underlining the stubble of moss so accurately, so specifically that I barely even notice it’s a whole fucking tree I’m looking at, and I’m nothing so simple (or so complex) as a tree. There are few records of me as a whole creature, and all the ones I’ve found are mostly part-glimpses of an elephant’s hind leg here, a trunk there, another foot here, just ahead. Some of these records are comprehensive and devastating in their details, like a bird-spotter’s guide that says black feathers, curved black beak, wickedly intelligent eyes, large wings with this particular bent and this spreading of feathers at the tip for aerial acrobatics (yes, corvus). These are the recent ones I’ve found, and they detail large swathes of my life, explain and make coherent sense of it all to devastating effect. But that’s not all I’ve ever been, all the markings I’ve ever displayed, and- I just don’t know. It’s a lack in me.


I’m far more tired than I expected to be at nine in the evening. Bedtime, I think.


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