I encountered the Tao and heard what I had been chanelling into:
work without doing
taste the tasteless
magnify the small, increase the few
reward bitterness with care
see simplicity in the complicated
achieve greatness in little things
I wrote in August 2007:
I have begun to draw – and sketch. And have come alive as a designer. I have spent years in the wilderness as you can see from the text below. But am happy to set that aside for a bit. So dont read the text below.
My research practice draws on the field of Action Research and Participative Rural Appraisal(PRA) in the way it is practiced in the development sector. I have always been very rigorous on quantitative documentation and analysis, which is what takes up a significant p art of the project expenses. I have also approached each project as being the development of methodologies and tools and therefore a contribution to knowledge. This is in addition to the stated aims of regular PAR work that is often about capability development from within communities. Situating the projects within the PAR milieu ensures that the project team – project staff, researchers and students – are not prescriptive, and are always curious and open to the unforeseen events. A lot of time is spent in the debriefing and this is often the place where we share insights – our collective production of knowledge. The research question is often simple and idealistic, the project itself is portrayed as a consultancy, and the outcome demonstrate “a way” of bringing about change in a complex societal context. This “way” is what then can travel and infect other communities and contexts.
I have begun to see seven recurring themes in my working life. That is six themes and one incubator which is my inquiry and personal self. I have now begun the task of making sense of these six themes as preoccupations and areas of work.