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“That sounds… I want to say exciting, but can’t quite pull it off. That sounds like you’re doing exactly the work you signed up to do.”

I told you there would be sheep.

I told you there would be sheep. Glen Nevis, June 2013.

That’s my dad’s genuinely supportive take on my masters thesis. I think it’s a pretty successful effort, honestly. That’s as effusive as I can realistically expect anyone—even (especially?) a parent—to sound when I’ve just finished telling them about my big project on pronouns.

Sheep in Glen Nevis 3


Sheep in Glen Nevis 4

He’s ahead of Daniprose’s acquaintance in recognizing that I surely do have to do a lot of work, which is a relief, as parental approval is an excellent thing to have. I can’t quite blame him for being puzzled about why on earth I would want to know about the pronouns of an obscure language. I, myself, occasionally have trouble remembering how my work is relevant. Compared to someone who helps farmers plan economical and environmentally-friendly crop practices, the utility of a historic linguist is nebulous at best.

Sheep in Glen Nevis 5

Fortunately, I seem to have unwittingly planned for these unfortunate crises of faith. We’re all the protagonists of our own stories. Every person has a narrative in which he is the hero. Well, owing to a surplus of imagination, I have two. Captain Brid sails high in the aetherosphere, unconcerned with petty politics and revolutions, on discovery intent. She will not be put off by such trifles as a coup in South America or the property rights of a petty dictator, much less the inapplicability of her investigations to modern farming methods. Her motivations remain shrouded, for the moment, in a convenient lack of exposition, leaving me free to take her example and run, on discovery intent.

Sheep in Glen Nevis 6

We all have our narratives. Sometimes, just sometimes, the protagonist of yours can swoop down from the aether and give you a lift.

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If you’re watching for her.