I realize that it has been a while since my last post on this page. It might be considered a fair excuse that “I’ve been busy,” and that is true in part, but this time it was also something more than that. I am often busy, but the busy-ness of late has been of a sort that seems to preclude blog-writing. Almost everything I have been working on has occupied the visual/spatial part of my brain: I have been drawing diagrams, and when I wasn’t drawing I was editing and laying out photo plates or posters, and when I wasn’t doing that I was tracing fossil comb jellies under the microscope.
All very enjoyable tasks, but when I tried to switch to writing I found that the words just would not flow. The middle-aged brain can still do each sort of thinking very well, but its flexibility has clearly diminished. It is much tougher than it used to be to switch from one type of work to another, so it seemed most reasonable to give the blog-writing a break.
I also gave the drawing/sketching/photography a break last week, however, as Dave Rudkin and I had scheduled a bit of fieldwork in the Grand Rapids Uplands (several hundred kilometres north of Winnipeg). It was wonderful to spend a few days splitting Ordovician bedrock and examining the surfaces for horseshoe crabs, eurypterids, jellyfish, and whatever other creatures might decide to pop out.
It was chilly the first day with a bitter northeast wind, and the blackflies showed up in swarms when the wind subsided, but the repetitive activity in this peaceful place was very good for the soul. And the site has continued to yield fresh treasures: we came back to Winnipeg with a modest number of slabs of rock, but these contained articulated horseshoe crabs, eurypterids, and a couple of superb jellyfish.
Now I am back to the “real” work world of report writing and administration, so my brain is more than happy to take a break and write a couple of blog posts. As long as they are as simple and undemanding as this one!
© Graham Young, 2011