8.00 am: A late start. The postgraduate marks were released. This’ll be a day for happy and, hopefully, fruitful conversations – the ideal way both to end the academic year prior to a vacation, and to anticipate the fun things to come when I return to work. 8.30 pm: Off to the School to prepare the paper-based feedback for Vocational Practice. After a brief stop-off back at homebase, I headed into town. I’d time to reflect at my watering hole before the day’s first meeting.
I’ve had a challenging academic year. Which isn’t to concede that it’s been an uphill slog only. The difficulties have inspired more imaginative solutions, greater determination, and a humbler estimation of my capacities. All good! Much has been achieved across the board of my activities. I couldn’t have wished for more. And I’ve regretted nothing, other than those circumstances that have lain outside of my power and purview to change. Nevertheless, there’ve been too many irretrievable losses, desperately hard decisions, and messy outcomes. There’re wounds that require healing still, as well as obstinate infirmities. They’ll roll over into the next academic term. Life isn’t either neat or containable. But I’ll go on to live my life the better for all that.
10.45 am: My next appointment was delayed by 15 minutes, which gave me time to wander along the Promenade:
I’m in second gear, presently. Tomorrow, I’ll be in third. By Saturday, I’ll be idling. It’s dangerous and far too stressful to come to a dead stop immediately before a vacation. 11.15 am: Dr Roberts and I had a supportive and enthusiastic discussion about our respective visions for the future of sound work, and the possible lines of intersection. He and I operate in very different ways. In part, that’s due to our contrasting temperaments. I’m a planner; I need to know the next step long before I take it, why I’m taking it, and where it might lead to. He goes with the flow. In part, it’s this difference that makes the friendship work. I wouldn’t like to work with someone like me. Fists would fly. The period from now until October will be crucial. There’re projects that need to be brought to a conclusion, and others to be furthered in the light of those conclusions. My overarching ambition is to develop the Bible and sound as a new field of study associated with Aberystwyth University and the School of Art. The forthcoming Visual Theology I conference will be launch pad for that endeavour:
1.00 pm: I took lunch with one of our former MA Fine Art students, who was visiting town on business. It was lovely to see her again, and to catch up on family and work. People’s lives play out so differently one from another. And, I suspect, they often evolve in ways that we’d never have anticipated, personally. Contentment and fulfilment lie in recognising the fitness of our circumstances to who we are, as well as the opportunities that we have to help others realise the same.
2.30 pm: An MA fine art tutorial at the Old College:
3.00 pm: To close the afternoon. Mr Monaghan and I put the world to rights, first at his studio and then at the local watering hole. If we could have our time again, What would be done differently? And, what would be undone? For someone who plans on an hour-by-hour basis I, perhaps surprisingly, have never had a grand plan for my life – either in the professional or the personal realms. While I’ve made opportunities for myself, the best chances (like the best friendships) have come out of the blue. I’ve not sought them:
I returned home with a sense of unease that wasn’t the result of any of today’s engagements. The feeling was hard to interrogate. Among its dimensions were disappointment, a longing for change, a sense of isolation, and resignation. But it had no specific subject or objective. How strange! One prospect that I’ll not permit myself to countenance is that the present is necessarily a prefiguration of the future. I believe in the possibility of change and the unexpected.
7.30 pm: There were a few admin tasks beckoning before close of business. More 80s pop music, please! A diary sabbatical ensued.