The sound of people walking home from the pub rouses me from my slumber and I hear their laughter and footsteps echoing away up the road and into the night. I glance at the phone and the illuminated screen reveals that it is just past the witching hour of 3am. Still I lie awake and my mind starts to wander.
Soon I am thinking of the paper that M and I started last year. Why does my mind turn to work in these moments? In the night I miss living by the sea, where the sound of waves rolling in to the shore could distract me from the never ending to do list in my head. Without the sea to drown out the white noise I can lie awake for hours if I wake up in the early hours. This morning though I think of the paper and what needs to be done to make it ‘work’. I’m unhappy with how it is hanging together and the ideas that M and I have argued passionately about seem lost and diluted in the structure of this paper. We were thinking of sending it to an international teacher education journal and during our writing process I applied for a position as an editorial intern and was lucky enough to be selected. I think about our paper with my intern eyes and I am sure that this is not the structure or journal for this paper of ours.
I rearrange the doona and think of how our ideas had emerged in the first place. Walks around the lake talking, coffee meetings in the local art gallery, long emails and a series of text messages. Through all of these our thoughts had crystallised and developed. Why not represent our conversation to understanding in that way? An idea is borne, a journal springs to mind, a structure begins to emerge and I tap on my ipad – the glow casting a mix of both shadows and light.
Maybe academic life appeals as it is like the sea I love so much. There are ebbs and there are flows, moments of crushing heaviness when you feel you might drown and moments of light when you float in the wave suspended by momentum.