Oh yes indeed, Caitie has returned! I missed you, gentle readers, and I know many of you missed me. How lucky do I feel that a few of you even wrote in to express your consternation at my extended absence? Very lucky, that’s how.
My disappearance was principally due to a most welcome new development in my life in the form of a shiny, brand-new job. I am deeply grateful to be amongst the employed at such a difficult time, a joy compounded by being chosen for rather a good position that is allowing me to develop a lot of new skills. It’s a somewhat more mathematically involved job than someone with my background (just in case you have forgotten…) might have expected, but it’s very exciting learning to think about data using different tools and different parts of the brain than my accustomed methods.
However, dear readers, I have some evidence that all these new skills are perhaps playing on my mind just a smidgen too much. This comes in the form of dreaming about work. There are in fact many wonderful anecdotes about scientists, inventors, engineers, and artists finding their biggest inspiration during sleep. But unlike these people, I in fact dream of The Dreaded Excel Spreadsheets.
I woke suddenly in the wee hours one night after dreaming of spreadsheet cells looming in a threatening manner over me. I’ll bet you didn’t know that a spreadsheet could loom in a threatening manner, but I assure you, this spreadsheet loomed like nothing I have ever known to loom had ever loomed at me before. Naturally I refused to be intimidated by such tactics, and with some stern shoulder-squaring and scornful-chestnut-curls-tossing, I approached the computer next morning with a steely glint in my eye. The Dreaded Excel Spreadsheets and I now have what you might term an understanding.
After a long day taming spreadsheets with a judiciously placed withering glance, a girl needs some time to unwind and reflect upon the state of things. My favorite place to do this is in the pool at the gym I recently joined.
Every time I swim I find it really renewing. When I leave the pool I am serene, yet full of energy. Water is a fascinating thing, isn’t it? The harder you push against it, the more it resists you. But this is precisely what allows it to hold you up. Floating gently there, the slightly disconcerting sound of underground trains rumbling by at intervals, I let the gentle undulations of refracted light on the ceiling distract me from spreadsheets or whatever else might be weighing on my mind.
The pool is surrounded by large concrete columns in a sort of faux-marbled Greek style. One of the things I initially liked about the place was the sense of pleasing if vague familiarity I felt when I looked around; something to do with the columns. Drifting lazily about one evening I finally realized where I’d seen something similar: the pool in Pink Floyd’s Back Catalogue poster. It isn’t the same pool, of course–according to the website of Storm Thorgerson, the poster’s photographer, the image was created at “an interior private pool in Putney, London.”
It may not be the Back Catalogue pool, but I still find that going there takes me to a similar place: a place where imagination comes to the surface.