I had writer’s block yesterday, also known as getting stuck in the scholarly literature. I panicked [a mind set not helped by some fiendish back pain] that I’d never understand what was going on with the absolute and relative dating of a coin series and how could I ever explain it. Everything I read was so contradictory. And, then it dawned on me. That itself was the truth, perhaps the most important truth. I don’t know and I don’t believe anyone knows with enough certainty that firm historical argumentation can be build on that chronology. Knowing when you don’t know and saying those words aloud often and frequently creates a powerful truth. When I was nervous the evening before the first time I taught, my Masters Supervisor poured me a small drop and told me to just be honest with the students and never be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’. It’s made me a better teacher over the years, and at least right now its making me a better writer.
Back to my scribbling. It’s Eid this evening and there will thus be much shenanigans to distract me later.