on projects

I have many projects. Over the life of this blog, I’ve explored a number of different aspects of my engagement with my projects. What this number is, I’m not entirely sure, but it’s a reasonably large number. Even for this Project Blog, I have a page in the journal where I collect ideas for possible future blogs.

I’m not precisely sure why tonight has become the night of project contemplation. Perhaps it’s the fire in the corner of the room, orange flames dancing on logs that are slowly disappearing. Perhaps it’s a bit of wishful thinking, looking towards the end of the year which is still some weeks away. Perhaps it’s a manifestation of my old friend and colleague, procrastination.

I’ve not devoted as much time as I would like to my mathematics recently, but in part that’s because the past few weeks have been devoted to teaching, and the teaching has (I think) been going pretty well. But come the new year, there should be more time for the quiet contemplation (that word again) of the warped geometric spaces I explore when I have the time.

A few years ago, almost four I think, I set myself a reading project – to read Sir Richard Burton’s The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. It took a year, some Nights every day, and it sparked some interesting ruminations. The next year, I set myself another reading project and I read the complete Vonnegut.

Last year, I set a more ambitious target – read humanity from the beginning. I am still wandering through the streets and wild places of ancient Sumer, and I will be wandering there for some time yet, because there is much to see and much to read. I have learned two lessons from this. One is that ancient Sumer is a fascinating place, worth the time spent there. The other is, do the research before setting a reading project. And so while Sumer persists, I will spend the next month looking around for the 2021 reading project.

I haven’t mentioned writing projects, but there are many. Stories mostly written and (dare I say the words) the novel. This is where Procrastination has made its home.

The past months have not been helpful months for my relationship with my projects. But there is now some light, albeit the tunnel remains. I can see glimpses of space, and I can see the possibility of projects being brought to an end. And so, what can we say but, the work continues.

~ by Jim Anderson on 23 November 2020.

2 Responses to “on projects”

  1. […] I’ve written about the various projects, like the annual reading project and indeed projects in […]

  2. […] And if you’re interested, some earlier reflections on aspects of procrastination can be found here and here, and here and here, and here and […]

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