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Patchwork

I found this image on flickr.com ~ the image and quilt belong to a user called Mellicious. I find the image inspiring and beautiful! Patchwork is about creating connections between fragments in order to create a coherent, unified whole. In this photo, the log cabin design uses the contrast between light and dark to create the pattern. The value of patchwork, is that the fragments on their own may not have much value until they are connected to other pieces.

This patchwork metaphor seems to be to be fitting for several things in my life at the moment. The qualitative research I did was a series of interviews, of data, of masses of individual thoughts and emotions and these had to be worked into a single, usable theory. The writing up stage was a pulling together of ideas, theories, data, reflections into a single thesis, I guess that's why the process has been so difficult :-)

The internet itself is a connecting force, linking random individuals together. This is not a new idea. But I think it's interesting that the sites which are helping me at the moment (http://www.livejournal.com / http://www.bookcrossing.com / http://www.43things.com / http://www.flickr.com ) are all about connecting and collaborating. Blogs allow people to publish their thoughts and to comment on other people's blogs. Bookcrossing is a serendipidous sharing of books. 43things represents an individual's attempt to list their goals and yet other people can cheer them on and offer help. Flickr is a sharing of images, of searching for common visual themes. The internet is a patchwork of isolated individuals, who are linked through their shared interests in a virtual community. There is nothing virtual though about the quality of sharing which occurs within this random patchwork!

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