Image from Flickr
Koan: (excerpt from the Wikpedia entry) A kōan (pronounced /ˈkoʊ.ɑːn/; 公案; Chinese: gōng-àn, Korean: gong'an, Vietnamese: công án) is a story, dialogue, question, or statement in the history and lore of Zen Buddhism, generally containing aspects that are inaccessible to rational understanding, yet may be accessible to intuition. A famous kōan is: "Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?" (oral tradition attributed to Hakuin Ekaku, 1686-1769, considered a reviver of the kōan tradition in Japan).
Sometimes I feel like my thesis (any thesis) is like a koan. A question is given, and at first time it is completely inaccessible, even the "references" are obscure. But as time passes... the question unfolds (I hope) and the answer is given.