On Research

So, I was thinking how wonderful it would be to have a research assistant. How much time it would free up for me to write instead of researching Siam, Bombay, Varanasi, 1940s automobiles, The Astoria, Central Park, clothing of the 1910s, intercontinental ship travel, vampire bats, porphyria, the monsoon season in southern Thailand, French translations, all things Catholic, etc., etc., etc.
But, I realized how much serendipity comes from research. If I had an assistant, would I have missed the fact that Bombay smells like night-blooming jasmine and dung? Would I have missed the many meanings of the Kali Yantra? Would I have missed seeing the Thai protective warrior tattoos that are applied by Buddhist monks? Probably.
I would not have seen how the palm trees come right down to the edge of the beaches of Rayong. I would not have connected Andrew, Thomas, Peter, and Bartholomew to each of the seasons. I might not have noticed the strange parallelism between Mary, Kali, and vampire queens.
So, yes I’ve spent as much time researching as writing, but Preyers is better for it; far better.
Still, it would be nice ….
Monica

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