While wandering my apartment trying to get into a rather dry history book outlining women in Asia in just a few hundred pages (for the world's largest continent with incredibly diverse languages, cultures, religions and so on mind you) I tended to get, well distracted. I need to go in depth, to analyze or synthesize theory based on primary and secondary sources, to see the art. A very factual primer is not useful to me, although when I finally hit on some topics I was a little more familiar with, as well as interested in (in this case various myths about women, including the story of Sita from the Ramayana) my synapses started firing.
This is difficult. For me, intellectual excitement is somewhat akin to firing a shotgun. It's an enormous explosion of force that tends to move outward rapidly and in a number of different directions simultaneously. I was wondering if I could connect a recent, animated film retelling of the Ramayana, the fabulous and incomparable "Sita Sings the Blues," to various ancient iterations of the story. I was wondering how I could expand or contract my thesis, depending on the amount of primary sources and scholarly research available, to compare the telling and retelling religious and/or secular stories with women as central characters and how they changed over time both with and against society's shifting interpretation of women's roles; additionally it might be possible parallel this with the worship of various incarnations of Maha Davi (the feminine Divine) in Hindu culture. I suppose comparative analysis across other religions on the Indian subcontinent could be done, although frankly Buddhism, Islam and Jainism neither speak to me or interest me in quiet the same way as Hindu (with the exception of art and architecture in the Islam Mogul dynasty) and I only have 10-12 pages, not a damn book, so I should keep this narrow and deep rather than broad and cursory.
Anyway, it was around the time that I was walking in circles, reading further in my text and reading it with an East Tennessee accent, by the way, to continually hone that for my acting class, that I came up with another idea (hence the shotgun theory of my neural pathways). Just to paint the picture, I'd just finished a litre of black tea (hellloooooo over caffeinated), was boiling water for another litre of green, was wearing my rugby jersey, track pants and some secondhand high heel shoes from Philly AIDS Thrift and eating a banana. Then it came in a flash: between Tony award winning shows and time I spent with my family, I'd be writing an analysis on queering family in the 21st century. It will be entitled "I want to wear the pants in this family. And the stilettos. Queering community, child rearing and gender roles in an non-traditionally constructed modern family."
Tah-dah, that's my brain on caffeine. That's a peek into my thesis for this semester, and if you have resources, by all means, please direct me to them. And that's a peek at my life, I think/hope, in 2025.
Love ya, mean it!