Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bits and Pieces

This, my friends, is a pretty nice explanation for my life these days.

In all reality, it's what I've been spending 20 hours a week working on with my fellowship with the Papers of the War Department. Piecing through fragments. Finding dates and names and locations. Making sense of any word or phrase I can find.

This is actually a letter from James McHenry, Secretary of the War Department, to some guy named Roach (as far as I can tell), dated 12 January 1798 (as far as I can tell). In fact, the only thing I can really tell is that nice, clear signature. James McHenry. This I know.

Sometimes that's all I know. But sometimes that's all I need. Just a name. Sometimes just MY name. The rest can be a foggy haze until the bits and pieces settle and we can make more sense of it. And you'd better believe I'm going to run with that name. I'm going to get all the mileage out of it I can. Because it may be all I have right now.

Like my life. I know I need to finish this dissertation. I don't know how long it's going to take, or how I'm going to pay for it (or my rent or food for that matter!). I don't know how it's all going to shake out in the end (although I think we win. At least that's what history tells us today.). But I'm going to stick with what I DO know and run with it. Just you wait.