A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I have missed writing for you. The blame lies in my thesis, which stole all of my letters and creativity for the last little while. But, I am committed to your readership and will now start keeping you up to date. In this part one, I’ll catch you up.
As the great Alan Watts said, “People don’t go to a symphony simply to hear the final note of the masterpiece… Just so, some people get to the end of life expecting congratulations and a prize, and don’t realize life was actually a musical thing all along.”
I’m currently in the midst of dancing between musical notes. Just so, the music has taken a joyous turn. I finished my very last exam (possibly of my life) a few weeks ago. I then spent my time enjoying life, spending time with friends, but by far mostly perfecting, in the eyes of my supervisor, my thesis. How did I manage to do both things? I made a day-by-day set of deadlines which I mostly stuck to (occasionally staying up all night). I’m not one for unnecessary organization but this time I managed.
I had a goal though. I wanted time to pursue art, through drawing, playing guitar, and photography, and I wanted to cultivate some ideas that have been rattling around my head. In essence, I didn’t want to be Josh, the astronomer. I wanted to be Josh, the star-gazing poet for a while. Luckily, we are’t relegated to just one personage. We don’t have to be one single entity. There are many aspects that make us up, just as there are many feelings behind some music. This is how I feel as I wait in limbo between finishing my masters and starting my doctorate.
Excitingly, I finalized my summer travel plans which I’m happy to share as I go along. The first stop is Paris, where I’m currently exploiting some rest time to write this. I have to say that so far the journey has had a calmly chaotic feel to it. First of all, I had to rush in packing. I’m pretty hopeful I didn’t forget something that I’ll need. Secondly, I did not have exact plans for what to do in Paris, nor where to stay for part of it. Thirdly, I’m embarrassed to say I’m a terrible Canadian, who doesn’t know French like he should. I’ve begun practicing, and will not stop until I get it.
Travelling in this heat is a sweaty ordeal to say the least! I’ll be sure to show you some of it. I’ve been given some good ideas. Holler back if you have something I should do here!