Ends and means and flowers
1 August 2012 § Leave a comment
A few nights ago, I was reading about Heidegger whilst listening to some old Collective Soul from my father’s music collection. A strange experience. I had to put an end to it, to those hours in the middle of the night when Insomnia—my most faithful companion who will never leave me nor forsake me, lo, he is with me til the end of the night (nay, beyond)—kept me company during the cheerful operation of adding every philosopher I could find to my reading list. I must give Hegel another try. I was reading his Phenomenology of Spirit this spring and felt like I was jumping among concentric circles of consciousness outside of my own head. It was distracting me from research, so I had to put and end to that.
Speaking (writing) of ends (and I hope it is not the end of the lemurs; this is so sad), the time has come to put an end to posts that consist almost entirely of the words of others.
I’m only joking. I would never do that to you . . . or to myself.
For a moment, though, I pause in this wood of various and sundry and thrilling writers to make a report of what I am actually doing. It’s much like the annual report (which is done done done, hip hip hooray and three cheers for all whom I bothered with endless editing questions), except perhaps one twenty-fifth of the length. And there are no questions from Jochen Bitzer (hip hip hooray).
I finished making the maps yesterday, and I am almost finished transcribing the interviews I collected from Mary’s team. These are stories about mothers who lost children before they had learned about safe birthing practices, community health workers who have taught about maternal and newborn health to community groups (including groups of men; often, men here assume that pregnancy, birth, and caring for children lie exclusively in the female realm), and health workers at clinics who learned from the project team about referring patients to larger hospitals and about numerous ways in which they can reduce infant mortality.
After transcription (and translation . . . they travel about in a pair in my head) is done done done (three cheers for those who graciously told me their stories), editing shall ensue. Oh editing! I restrain myself from spouting effusions on the joys of such work. And then, by several magical processes, stacks of glossy books with photographs and the stories and explanations of the newborn project and the status of maternal health in Kenya shall appear.
There’s other scattered work, but nothing so glamorous as that.
P.S. I took the flower photographs last week in Kijabe.