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Supervision as ‘deus ex machina’

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 @ 10:34 pm
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Posted in  Personal Process, Supervision

It has been a while now that i have been feeling overwhelmed by the research process. I have been focusing on the data collection phase through conducting the research interviews, but didnt quite make the time to sit and look what i have collected, something that often makes me feel a bit ‘blur’ in relation to where am at with the PhD. It is time to stop for a bit and study the transcripts and do a bit of writing. Last week, i spent a good 2 hours with my supervisor sitting on the floor in his office with big sheets of paper, where we kind of mapped my Thesis. This felt helpful and supportive, i need to go back to those sheets of paper during the Christmas break and organise my thinking around it, in written form. I can see that i shall start producing ‘text’, even in draft form. I anticipate this to be a creative and maybe healing process, althouh not always easy to find the words for what am exploring.

After the indivudual supervision session with William, we then had the group supervision session on Friday, during which i shared a bit of mys truggle around my constant sense of ‘homelessness’ and how this is both related to the research topic but also inhibits the writing ‘ritual’. William sent me the following email today, which kind of remionded me of the concept of the ‘deus ex machina’ in the ancient greek drama describing an artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot:

“I think you should stop actively gathering fresh data apart from anything already arranged.Write it all up.You have 10 themes one of which is the difficulty in speaking about it. This will make a good (enough) thesis. Exploring this difficulty in further detail could be your post doc work (or soemone else’s!) Create a (portable) home. It will have a shrine or altar, photo of Baba, crystals , holy books and two memory sticks (one with oodles of lit)! Also items of clothing that are homely, photos, pottery, laptop. Plus home making ritual.I say this because I think it is time for you to move on from (some of the) suffering and into writing. If you finish it all early you can use the time to rest and figure out what next!!”I always trust William’s intuitive responses and he has been extremelly empathic to my process. He introduces her the idea of me creating a portable home so that i can ground and soothe myself, as well as host the writing of the PhD Thesis. I am aware of being tired of my mobility and also wanting to ‘nest’. This is related to my character but also it is due to gender and my age at the minute. And yet, i have put myself in a position that i have to be mobile, at least until i finish the PhD. Maybe this is the challenge of my life in order to overcome my deep need of being in one place…i hope or dare say trust that this journey will lead me to further growth, to a place that i will be ‘at home within’…

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