7.45 am: A communion. 8.20 am: I launched out early enough to take-in a short promenade. The sunlight pronounced a silent benediction upon this little part of the world at the edge of the sea. The dolphins have returned, I was told. I’ve never known the water to be such a lustrous blue. (My horizon is noticeably lower these days.):
The Old College was resplendent too. Sandstone responds well to sunlight. I’d only one MA tutee to teach this morning:
9.40 pm: I’d time to address admin before my next consultation, and so retired to my usual watering hole, close-by. A no-show on this occasion. But I’d much to be getting on with, and an iPad on board. (I’m a man who plans. I like to know how the next hour will play out.):
11.45 pm: I held a follow-up consultation with a student who’ll be entering our second year from another institution. It’s helpful to set projects, to be undertaken over the summer, which will provide an introduction to the type of instruction that they’ll experience in September. Good to hit the road running.
1.45 pm: After a little correspondence to finalise my commitments at the end of the week, I returned to the ‘Write the Vision …’ transcription. I was working under the full glare and heat of the sun in that part of the studio. Mercy, me!:
A strange occurrence: On Thursday, I’ll be having lunch with someone who, a few days ago I’d ‘dreamed’ of having dinner with. This was out-of-the-blue. By 5.00 pm, the task was complete. It remained for me to stitch all the separate verse files together. A procedure for tomorrow morning:
7.30 pm: ‘Varieties of administration’, as they say in the New Testament (King James Version): references, postgraduate applications, and church work. In the background, among other things, Scritti Politti’s ‘The Word Girl‘ (1985) – a gem of a pop song. It takes me back to my years in Cardiff, around that time. How strange that music can retain the memory of feelings (of melancholy) associated with a period and place so powerfully intact:
Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:
- There’re times when your intentions for the work must be questioned. Are they an enabling or a limiting factor?
- The form of the work can effect the concept of the work, just as surely as the concept can effect the form. One must recognise the reciprocal relationship between these two dynamics.
- Always be ruthless: cull the body of the work; be clear in your own mind regarding what constitutes the best.
- Over production and diversification can be manifestations of prevarication. Therefore, learn to discern the cutting-edge of your practice, and commit yourself to it only.
- Auto-suspicion is a great asset: be aware of your avoidance strategies, lazy compromises, and slick solutions. Do the difficult thing, at all costs. Any other policy will guarantee you a short professional career.
- Work at your best when no one is either watching, or applauding, or remotely interested in what you do, or offering you a reward. This is of the essence of personal and professional integrity.
- Work at your best even when producing your worst. That’s the fastest and best way to recover your form.