April 19, 2016

Morning: grey cast, overcast, over head, heads up, up there:


There are days when the landscape of one’s immediate responsibilities changes with every email that drips into the inbox. We study and teach within the nexus of the fulness of our lives. And life sometimes throws a grenade from behind the door when we expect and can deal with it least. Our health may collapse, suddenly; the needs of loved ones, prevail over our own; our past catches up with us; and what we either expected or hoped for, fails to come to pass. Frustration, distraction, and disappointment beat down with the force of a forger’s hammer — knocking us into a shape that isn’t of our choosing. And yet … It’s sometimes the road that we’d prefer not to travel down that leads somewhere better than we’d otherwise have ended up had we taken easier route.

At 11.00 am, we held the annual Monaghan Seminar with the MA Vocational Practice group. Earning one’s living from the sale of artwork (as Pete does) is a worthy ambition, but one that comes at an enormous cost. Liberty in one dimension of our life imposes constraints upon the others. That’s an axiom. What are we willing to give up in order to be successful? Success will not bring you happiness, nor will happiness bring you success, necessarily. Better to be happy and unsuccessful than successful and unhappy. Perhaps.

In the afternoon, I continued to plug away at my British Landscape essays.


This is the last time that the module will run. And, these are the last of the several hundred essays that I’ve marked for this module over the years. Every module has its season. In the background (I need a background for essay marking), I played ‘Image and Inscription’. This is the first time that I’ve heard it … as though someone else had composed it. It signals that I’ve relinquished the process, and the work is finished. One can/should be both the maker and audience of one’s own work.


The evening’s labours ended with a reference written for one of our alumni.

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