May 30, 2018

The past is a safe place. It cannot be changed or violated (Diary of Departures, May 22, 2018)

6.30 am: A disrupted night’s sleep; late start. My mind churned and chewed over the issues of the day that’d been. Some decisions, if right and proper, bring peace and reconciliation in their wake. Others of the same persuasion, don’t; the problem or dilemma seems to leak into one’s life still. And the ramifications of a decision may rumble on for a long time after. Life is untidy. Moreover, how the heart and the mind respond to a decision may not be in accord, either to begin or ever. Those faculties have a very different approach to solving the same problem. They shouldn’t be confused. I’d ruminated on this recently:

One ought not to think with the heart any more than one should try and feel with the head. They are apt to come to wrong conclusions when operating outside their respective fields of competence. My head always wakes in advance of my heart in the morning. Usually, it presents me with a sensible, pragmatic, and clearly reasoned opinion of a situation … Meanwhile, the heart sits docile, like a scalded child before its parent. When the heart (like a sluggish teenager) finally wakes up, it rails against the mind’s cold calculations (Letter to Myself, February 14–15, 2018).

7.30 am: A communion. 8.00 am: Further submissions had landed overnight. On with marking. Steadily, the last submissions began to arrive. I suspected, though, that I’d be marking into the wee hours tonight. (The deadline is 11.59 pm). All the submissions must be marked today and the mark sheet prepared for tomorrow morning’s Final Exam Board for Fine Art. I sent an email to chivvy those on the module who like to sail very close to the wind. Meg’s report notes (with kind permission):

11.45 am: A moment that caught me off-guard. As I was about to add a new telephone contact and delete others from my phone, David Adamson’s profile opened. David, a member of Holy Trinity Church, died last week and long before his time. I hope that School business will be concluded early enough for me to attend his funeral tomorrow:

In the background: Scott Walker’s, Scott 4 (1969). (You can guess what his first three solo albums were called.) It flopped when it was released, but had a major influence on the songwriting of, for example, David Bowie and Radiohead, subsequently. Popularity and significance aren’t the same thing. There are many types of success.  12.40 pm: Working my way backwards – onto Scott 3 (1969), which includes Walker’s superlative rendering of Jacques Brel’s ‘If you Go Away‘. The 60s was a decade of psychologically insightful love songs.

1.00 pm: Lunchtime. A disastrous vegetarian omelette. Cooking isn’t my strongest suit. The weakness, on this occasion, was due to an imbalance in the egg-to-milk ratio. As meals go, it deserves a low 2.2:

1.45 pm: Back to marking (and onto Scott 2 (1968)). In between reports, I collected together information related to my coming voyage home. Perhaps the weather will not be so inclement on this occasion, and permit me to surmount the Arael Mountain (my Mount Sinai):

7.30 pm: More arrivals. (And I’d arrived at Scott [1] (1967).)  One more was due. I wasn’t hopeful. While I waited, I made some remedial changes to my Module Evaluation Questionnaire. The Action Plan to the original submission hadn’t taken. One of academic life’s trials.


But I need more than this