Well, I’m now beyond the halfway mark of my retreat and I’ve been on the one project all this time. I’ve made progress here and there, had some setbacks, and have got very stuck at times. It’s just one of those things with this sort of work. Par for the course.
There are times when you think that if you do just a bit more on the project, it’ll get over the hump, as it were, and then coast along. So far I worry that there may be simply an infinite set of equally spaced humps of similar height all the way down the road**, in that every now and again I discover a rather pretty little gem of a result that’s quite encouraging, but these gems don’t seem to have anything to do with each other. So it’s a little scattered gravel pit of gems as opposed to a lovely… Ok, cvj, enough with the gem metaphor.
The issue here is whether I should jump ship and use the last of my quality time here to embark (or re-embark) upon a different journey, picking up on one of the other projects I’ve been wanting to get on with, and immersing myself in that instead. It’s a tough one, since I’ve invested a lot of time and energy getting fully immersed into the current project. (I know I have not told you what it is. I’m sorry, but I mostly only discuss completed projects here, for perhaps obvious reasons.)
I’m sure there are many who recognize everything I’m saying in one shape or form. It’s the price you pay for stepping off into ocean of the unknown, of course. When you strike a piece of firm ground after the floundering, it makes it all worth it. The trick is to somehow keep that hope in mind while bobbing up and down in the in between.
Hmm… An excellent energizing trumpet solo from Lee Morgan helps too. Ok, back to hidden solution-generating symmetries and so forth…
**Of course, if it really is an infinite lattice of humps, I could try a different, Bloch wave approach to the project. Poor inside joke that few if any of you would get. Has to do with crystal lattices and certain sorts of states that can traverse them. Sorry.