12: Epilogue [23 August 2013]

Many years of literature study have taught me that all good stories ought to include an epilogue, and there's a temptation to attach the same ideal to life. In a sense, I feel as if this update is rather tardy, but closure is also not something to be rushed; it doesn't seem like I'm ready to end things, nor do I have any real conclusions to report. However, I did promise a final note, and these things only happen when one decides they should happen.

I've been home for almost as long as I've been gone, and so many things have happened in my life in the interim that I've almost forgotten the semester altogether. Yesterday, I flipped through one of my notebooks to look for something from mid-April, and I couldn't read any of the notes I made in Arabic. I've finished processing and scanning all the film I shot in Qatar, but haven't begun to look through them; my digital files have already been archived to make room for more current work, even though I haven't sorted through those, either. In a strange way, it seems like the entire semester was a wash, a four month interruption from the rest of my life during which I didn't have enough time or energy to figure out anything, but I've also reminded myself that not every experience needs to produce a profound revelation.

If that bit is all I've gotten out of this adventure, then I suppose I've learned something.