Madi dreams, metaphors and keeping it messy

Written on Tuesday 30th May

I had the most unusual dream this morning. I was swimming in the San Remo channel with a girl and there were madi throughout the water. I told the girl to catch one but she didn’t. Then I saw one swimming past and grabbed a hold of it. I remember feeling anxious and excited about the potential of catching a madi, but unsure of how safe it would be for my hands. Once I got to the shore with the madi it was trying to get out of my hands and was doing as much harm as it could in the process. I didn’t want to let go, but I was in pain. Eventually the madi escaped back into the water. I tried going after it but it was gone. What is the lesson for me in this? What am I trying to grab a hold of that doesn’t want to be held? What is causing me pain?  

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I feel as though some ideas have started to send down roots into the metaphoric medium which is my research. All good things take time, nutrients… learning from the work that was carried out by Marika and Christie in Yirrkala on Yolngu metaphors for learning is one such idea. I keep coming back to these metaphors and feel that there are much nutrients there for me to grow my ideas. 

The question of process and negotiation my research topic is very much at the surface for me. I feel as though I am not part of this process and that it is not transparent. I know that I am likely to have expectations that cannot be met, but I am all about method. I need to write to J about this today. 

How can I connect with, understand, intersect, watch???
What voice will Yolngu epistemology have in my research?
What role can metaphor play in my research if it is not a central actor? Can I even pre-empt what will emerge?   

An apt quote to remind me that research is not a neat and well defined process and nor should it be!:
‘Verran and Christie et al. take seriously his [Law’s] call for methods which engage with the messiness of both life and research and eschew the processes which first tidy it up and then cover the act of tidying’ (Nichols 2011: 36).

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