This has been the year of the Arab Spring, the year of revolts halfway around the world instantly reaching you on twitter, and the year where we no longer doubt the capacity of internet based social media to organize real groups of people in the “first world” who then manifest as physical presence in the #occupy movement.
On a more personal note, this is the year I realized I could hear about an attack on Gaza in a tweet, minutes before the attack would be published on Reuters. And, it’s the year I went to the West Bank and befriended those for whom such attacks are not shots heard from halfway around the world, but halfway across town, or shots that killed their neighbor or their friend. It’s the year I decided I was not particularly attached to living in North America, or even in a Democracy. It’s the year I realized just how deeply racist, colonialist, but more fundamentally – dishonest – was our discourse about war torn regions truly is, and it’s the year I committed my academic work to doing something about that.
It’s the year, other words, of deluges of meaning – meaning in which it’s easy to find confidence and fulfillment, but at the same time meaning in which it’s easy to drown – to stress out, to constantly succumb to curiosity, to find incredibly difficulty in working on long term projects in a world which seems to change everyday, and with friends in areas where their safety is anything but certain.
If this year is not to end with an academic fall, then this winter must be a term of focus, of resolute determination, and to some extent of seclusion from the constant barrage of significant events upon my conscious. It must be a winter of the Castle, of close friends but few acquaintances – of less parties and more reading, and of less reading and more writing.