It Is Finished: A Thesis Draft Done on Good Friday

It Is Finished: A Thesis Draft Done on Good Friday April 18, 2014

David Russell Mosley


Good Friday 2014

On the Edge of Elfland

Beeston, Nottinghamshire

Dear Friends and Family,

I have several other posts up my sleeves for the next few days (assuming I can make myself write them), but today I wanted to give you a very simple update. I have, after nearly three years, finished a draft of my thesis!

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There is still much to do: fixing footnotes, adding extra sources, polishing the bibliography, fixing transitions, and making sure the whole thing fits together, writing the preface. However, all of that pales in comparison to the work of actually writing the whole thing! It is an enormous weight off of my shoulders as I now await the soon arrival of my two sons. I can think of no better way to prepare for Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, than by finishing a major task. Without meaning to seem crass, I too can shout, tentatively, tetelestai; it is finished, for now. Or perhaps as Niggle might say, it’s finished, but not finished with.

As Easter is coming, and I cannot guarantee that my revelry in having finished a draft of thesis will leave me time for the letters I hoped to write between now and then, let me leave you with the excellent ending to Dante’s Paradiso, which also serves as the conclusion of my final chapter:

In the deep bright

essence of that exalted Light, three circles

appeared to me; they had three different colors,

but all of them were of the same dimension;

one circle seemed reflected by the second,

as rainbow is by rainbow, and the third

seemed fire breathed equally by those two circles.

How incomplete is speech, how weak, when set

against my thought! And this, to what I saw

is such––to call it little is too much.

Eternal Light, You only dwell within

Yourself, and only You know You; Self-knowing,

Self-known, You love and smile upon Yourself!

That circle––which, begotten so, appeared

in You as light reflected––when my eyes

had watched it with attention for some time,

within itself and colored like itself,

to me seemed painted with our effigy,

so that my sight was set on it completely.

As the geometer intently seeks

to square the circle, but he cannot reach,

through thought on thought, the principle he needs,

so I searched that strange sight: I wished to see

the way in which our human effigy

suited the circle and found place in it––

and my own wings were far too weak for that.

But then my mind was struck by light that flashed

and, with this light, received what it had asked.

Here force failed my high fantasy; but my

desire and will were moved already––like

a wheel revolving uniformly––by

the Love that moves the sun and the other stars (Paradiso XXXIII.114-145).


Sincerely yours,

David Russell Mosley

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