January 27, 2017

It is not in an easy, careless manner that we get learning, understanding, and knowledge; no, it must be by labour, industry, and toil. It is necessary ‘to cry after knowledge, and lift up the voice of understanding — to seek her as silver and to search for her as hid treasure’ (Prov. 2: 3,4). We are not to be disheartened and cast down, in not succeeding to obtain knowledge of things at the commencement; it is the work of time (John Elias (1774–1841))

8.45 am: A little juggling of the timetable to accommodate the needs of those who couldn’t, for good reason, conform their lives to the first draft. This is the nature of life and planning. Afterwards, I exchanged emails about related matters with Dr Forster. I feel the starship beginning to edge out of space dock once again. 9.30 am: Back to the article.

10.40 am: A summons from Kennedy Central to pop into the School in order to moderate a sample of examination scripts for The History of Photography module, before they’re sent to the external examiner:

My home laptop (which is substituting for a departmental desktop, in absentia) chose it’s moment and went into massive-update mode:

11.00 am: Back at homebase, the article moved forward … achingly slowly. (In the background: some Bartók to ease the passage.) By lunchtime, I’d nearly reached the conclusion of the text.

1.30 pm: My resting brain poured over my diary for 1986 — the year in which I began my PhD in Art History; a year in which I prepared for loss, and also found many things. The experiences of the past tutor me in the present. I’m talking to me, from then to now. There are so many aspects of my history that I’d either rewrite, edit, or expunge, if I could.

1.45 pm: I began moving some of the article’s furniture around. Like belongs with like. 3.30 pm: A final look over, before I begin the process of footnoting. 4.15 pm: My mind is dull. The terrain of the text is, now, too familiar. In this condition, I’m apt to edit ruthlessly. This is no bad thing.

5.10 pm: Eventide:

6.15 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: Back to the article. (Groan!) 8.30 pm: A change. A look. The awaited final effector for PB III arrived today — an echo pedal. I’ll instal and test it tomorrow:

9.30 pm: No more, please!

There’s a particular state of semi-consciousness that I associate with lying on my back at the top of the Arael [Mountain, Abertillery], looking through closed eyelids at the bright blue sky, with the town at my feet (Cardiff, Diary > May 15, 1986).

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