December 20, 2017

Doing the right thing for the right reasons in the right spirit at the right time. That’s wisdom. But there are times when you’re not the right person to do it. That realisation requires wisdom too. The task must be entrusted to others.

8.30 am: A communion. 9.00 am: A review of my inbox: the work mail and, happily, seasonal greetings. An extract from a School of Art alumnus’ general missive:

I suppose one of the ways of coming to an understanding of one’s own ways of seeing is to consider that and those of others, or is that indeed a form of conditioning? The diary and poetic forms have always been of great interest to me. So may I recommend the following. Professor John Harvey, School of Art, Aberystwyth, Wales has had an ‘a/Academic Diary in process for some time. So I have to take his own personal way/s of looking as indeed his own way/s of seeing. It is clearly not possible for me to have any means of relating his own private/public offerings to my own, his world is not my world and vice versa. But his world and what he sees plays in some small way into my own world, but now in some smaller way, as we have in the past, now ten years ago, had some contact with one another. So something of a past history offers something of a common ground, if now very much a one-sided one, he writes and I read what he has written. 

And the diary helps me to see my life, both academically and privately, too. We each have the capacity to influence others for either better or worse. (Readers: choose your diarists wisely, therefore. Diarists: choose your words wisely, therefore.)

At this time of the year, I try to catch up myself, take stock, self-evaluate, grieve and rejoice, and remember and forget. Each year gone by is a mixed bag of personal and professional failures, victories and successes, losses and gains, insights and perplexities, folly and wisdom, vices and virtues, and – just sometimes – unexpected and bewildering happiness. (All I’m confessing to, here, is a flawed humanity.) To mature, we need both the good and the ill, the ‘weary ways’ and the ‘golden days’ (as the hymn says). It’s not experiences that define and distinguish us, but, rather, our response to them.

I continued updating my personal website. The task always takes far longer than I anticipate. There were also completed projects to organise and put to bed. I like to keep a tidy screen desktop. Thumbnail furniture had to be generated for several website pages where the list of activities had now become extended. This was tiresome work. Not all tasks can be made interesting. In the background, I launched several examples of ‘My Art History’, taken from my foundation and second year undergraduate studies. In some respects, I don’t feel that I’ve moved so far away from them.

Following lunch, I walked via the School to town. Wall memorial:

I’d hoped to be in and out of the area in under an hour. Pharmaceuticalisms prevailed. A, now, week-long discussion between Boots, my surgery, and myself finally resolved the delayed repeat prescription debacle. It’s astonishing how a supposedly automated system can fail so badly and often. Homeward:

3.15 pm: On with the website update, until it was completed:

7.30 pm: Studiology. I listened to the composition that I’d addressed yesterday. I’d heard it so many times now; my objectivity was diminishing. The last mixdown was too aggressive; I’d over-compressed one of the tracks, and squeezed out some of the virtue in so doing. The composition had been overcooked. I reinstated a previous, uncompressed, version … and the air began to move again. Thereafter, I mapped the amplitude contours from the old to the new sample. Jeremiah was off the deck. Isaiah was installed.

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