I have been really struggling with my dissertation writing the past couple of weeks. Luckily, it is a good problem: I have far too much that I want to say! I'm working on my section about Margaret Atwood's wonderful trilogy MaddAddam. The challenge I am facing is that she has written a wonderful fiction that addresses a lot of the major concerns that the animal turn in literature and theory has brought about in cultural studies. This leaves me with so much that I could address the chapter would end up being blurry, fuzzy, and shapeless. So, right now I am working on sketching out more clearly what precisely it is that I want to focus on for this section. I have many more chapters to cover, and so I can deal with other issues (such as race and disability) with other authors. I have to keep reminding myself that I need not cover everything in a single chapter.
I am looking to my son and partner for inspiration. As usual, I find it spades. My son has been practicing his drumming every day he has been home since he got his set on Christmas Day. It has been a great lesson in persistence and patience as I watch him work hard and really improve. My partner has been tackling challenges of mobility and acceptance when she makes use of a wheel chair. Of course, she is nothing short of inspirational and finds solutions and courage where others find obstacles and despair. Keeping them in mind, I recognize I just need to keep practicing the essentials, focusing on the where Atwood's text is particularly helpful for my dissertation. I can choose to find great opportunity where I might have otherwise felt overwhelmed.