April 24, 2018

I’m preparing; I’m being prepared.

6.00 am: The clouds were dribbling. Another morning of floor exercises, therefore. (I’m a fair-weather jogger.) 7.45 am: A communion. 8.30 am: April showers! Off to School in order to set up a 9.00 am Skype call with one of my distant PhD fine art tutees. This was going to be a tightly-managed day. As a matter of rule, I like to know how my commitments will pan out on a half-hour by half-hour basis:

10.15 am: I touched base with one of our secretaries. There were a number of matters related to postgraduate examinations and student transfers from other art departments to consider. My new ‘toy’ had arrived, at last: a stethomicrophone. In essence, this is an electric stethoscope capable of picking-up what might otherwise be imperceptible sounds, at close range. It’ll be deployed on the Habakkuk ‘writing on tables’ project:

10.45 am: The first tutorial of the day with one of my MA contingent. Mr Baldwin took my Vocational Practice class at 11.00 am. He provided the group with practical instruction on how to photograph artwork professionally:

Today, I’d time for a casual conversation with a colleague. Those occasions are far too rare. Later, I was roped into a spontaneous tutorial with one of my colleagues and their student:

Afterwards, I’d time to pop in to observe Mr Webster’s life-drawing class. The model had brought in her beautiful greyhound. He posed with her.

After lunch (a solo meeting at the Town’s Committee Chambers (for a treat)), I stopped off at St Michael’s Church to pick up printing materials for Holy Trinity Church, and then held an afternoon of further MA tutorials and consultations at the Old College and School, until 6.00 pm. It has rained incessantly all day:

7.30 pm: I addressed a life/right stereo imbalance effecting the ‘Enn’ composition, and then continued writing the explanatory text for the suite. Getting that stereo balance spot-on opens up the field in a remarkable way. The other three compositions underwent the same process. I began to ponder whether or not the suite should be released as a CD album: a notational Aural Bible IV.

Some observations and principles derived from today’s engagements:

  • Everything we do, all our intentions, hopes, dreams, and ambitions, are subject to constraints and restrictions. These need not be negative factors, however. What cannot be done forces us to explore more fully what can. The impossible disciplines the possible, in other words. And just because some options aren’t available at present, by no means implies that they won’t be in the future.
  • We may receive sudden and devastating news that threatens to jeopardise our future in the most profound and irrevocable way. Two options are before us: we can either succumb to paralysis and wait until the bomb drops, or else move forward, valiantly and defiantly, making the most of every moment. We none of us know what tomorrow may bring forth, in any case.
  • Hope dies before love does. In the absence of hope, despair obtains a foothold. In the absence of love, the heart ossifies.
  • There’s a hope that persists in the face of circumstance, expectation, reason, and the opinion of others. To the hopeful, this sense of certainty, this conviction against all odds, feels as though it has been given to, and is sustained by a force that’s beyond, them.
  • Never believe those who call you ‘rubbish’. Because, firstly, you shouldn’t trust the integrity of anyone who would say such and a thing; and, secondly, it may take you the rest of your life to convince yourself that their judgement wasn’t true.
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