I am away from the project for two weeks and as the days go by, I cannot help but wonder how the project is going. What am I missing out on? Are the co-researchers ok? Did I prepare them enough? Have there been any problems? I wanted to email Elin but stopped myself as I did not want to impact on the decisions or add to any problems. I did not have control over the project at this time and this was something I needed to accept. I had to trust them.
Being away from the prison was a time to reflect and as soon as I saw my family I was distracted away from my thoughts around the prison. However, I felt different. I was not constantly checking my phone for work emails. I was not in a rush and seemed to feel a lot more relaxed than usual. I appreciated things more. I took more time to do things. I tasted my food more and was aware of my environment more. I was more aware of the weather and changes in temperature.
I had left all my research work at the place I was staying at Horten, because I was returning there after the break. This photo was in my journal, as I had accidently printed out two copies. Every time I looked at it, it said different things to me. The statement connected to it was simply; “normality”. It is a photo of an inmate outside his house on the island.
I always dreaded the time I would have to leave my family to return to the prison and identified this as one of the potentially difficult moments of the project. The day arrived and I felt I dealt with it surprisingly well. I am dedicated to this project and what it represents. I felt I had a job to finish and a purpose. It was something I was responsible for. I have a story to tell. I need to finish the job I have started and make it the best it can be, with the largest impact.