rain drops, mist, patchy clouds hang low around the sandstone slabs that form the flatirons. light snow peaks through the clouds there, barely dusting the slabs but a mere few hundred feet lower we get rain drops. the sun occasionally shines through, cutting the chill of the wet morning for a few seconds. early spring. more snow will fall, but from here on precip will mostly be rain. the chance for another verdant april and may is on the horizon but no one knows for sure whether the fire hazard signs will be dialed to green or red. only one month left to catch up on things that have eluded my scholastic focus (or lack thereof) over the last three. plans for taiwan in may, completing incomplete works from december, revisiting what I was supposed to be doing all semester. Somehow the last couple months have just slid by, practically unnoticed; now I find myself feeling lucid and aware but still questioning wtf happened during that time and how. was I so far out of it that I was just here in body?
Periodically I disappear. my thoughts unravel and I'm left with base yearnings for escape, idyllic and various indulgent experiences outside of time. grad school seems to provide a major barrier to experiences such as these, at least in the real world. the last few weeks have seen me spend inordinate amounts of time on introspection: wants and desires, fears, plans, etc. So many of these are manifold, complex in their designs and some might even say pie-in-the-sky, but worth working towards - fighting for. Pure academia appears less and less attractive and public work, policy work, private sector consulting on affairs of human risk, etc all seem more worth everything I am putting myself through here now. What is the real benefit of spending more than a hundred thousand dollars of tax-payers money (yes you are all paying for my education) to pursue a lifetime career of personal mental mollycoddling?
For now I resign myself to doodling cross sections, extracting channel morphologies from digital elevation models, and waxing cerebral about four-dimensional orogenic kinematics.