April 26, 2018

6.00 am: The Promenade loop. At this time in the morning only the reflective, sleepless, and joggers were on the streets. As such, my thoughts could extend beyond my head in all directions. Now that I’m not focussed so much upon my body’s complaints about being pushed hard (I’ll pummel it into submission, eventually), the environment broke upon my consciousness far more readily. 6.45 am: A shower, and then a modest breakfast. (There’s a heap of healthy granola under that scattering of Cocoa Pops):

7.45 am: Diary and admin catch up, followed by a short communion. 8.30 am: Off to School for a morning of third year painting tutorials. The temperature had risen further within the School, even as it lowered, without. Some students are at the ‘spit and polish’ stage of completion, others have some distance still to traverse. I’ve no ideal regarding where they each should be at this juncture. Some students thrive on sailing close to the wind. My concern is that everyone finishes by the deadline.

2.00 pm: After lunch, I attended a necessary (if tedious) fire drill training meeting at the School:

3.30 pm: Back at homebase, I reviewed the new suite further to ensure that, if it was pressed as a CD, the tracks would fit within the 79 minute storage capacity of the format. These are the longest individual compositions that I’ve ever made. Their scale is of the essence. The works reflect protracted periods of correspondence, discussion, and earnest searching on the part of two parties. I’m not sure where the original impetus for the suite came from. But I suspect it was a quotation by the critic Michel Leiris, which I came across in the Picasso 1932: Fame, Love, and Tragedy exhibition in March: ‘Everything we love is about to die, and that is why everything we love must be summed up, in something so beautiful we shall never forget it’.

7.30 pm:

I returned to the text for the suite.

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • When you approach the end of a long run, tired and aching, even minor inclines appear daunting. Thus, sometimes, the perceived enormity of the challenge is determined by our perceived capacity to meet it.
  • The exhibition should manifest the integrity of not only the individual components but also their relationship one to another, and coherence as a collective.
  • Push the concept, as well as the subject matter and technique. Ambition, development, and achievement should be evident in all dimensions of the work.
  • Not all decisions are for all time. The circumstances in which choices and determinations are made may change over time. Therefore, keep one eye on the environment of your resolutions, and test your decisions on those who know you well, and whose opinion you trust, periodically.
  • Avoid binary thinking. Some things are straightforwardly either right or wrong. Many things, however, are too complex and contextual to be conceived of in terms of black or white.
  • Gravitate to those who bring out the best in you.
  • Despair: Things will never be different; I’ll never change; they’ll never improve; everything will get worse. Hope: All things are possible.
  • Don’t confuse unhappiness with depression. The latter is an illness; the former, a facet of normal human experience.
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