August 29, 2018

Not a model man
Not a saviour or a saint
Imperfect in a word
Make no mistake.
(King Crimson, Model Man, Three of a Perfect Pair (1984))

12.45 am: Enough! I could no longer think in straight lines. My cold and the tiredness had won out. Already pyjama clad, I slipped beneath the duvet, turned to the window, and let the phantoms and remembered voices of the day that’d been – now thin, fused, and garbled – recede into the darkness. There was a part of my mind that continued to ruminate. It thought in neither images nor words but, rather, through the language of the heart and spirit, in expressions of affection, joy recalled, regret, longing, and that hope which can sometimes feel like an ache. I slept.

7.00 am: ‘Up, Johnny, up!’ (The ‘muse’ is a taskmaster.) 8.00 am: I dealt with last night/this morning’s important incoming email before readying myself for a walk to the Old College for a PhD Fine Art tutorial at 9.00 am. We took it at the watering-hole:

There’s a long tradition of café-tutorials going back many generations at Aberystwyth. In eighteenth-century London, much of the city’s intellectual and business life was conducted over coffee. The practice is one of the hallmarks of high civilisation, in my opinion. 9.45 am: Back to the mothership via Plas Grug Avenue, where the first fall of Autumn had begun to gather:

10.00 am: Cup of tea to hand, I prepared for my 11.00 am MA Art History tutorial. At noon, I had a work appraisal with my Head of School. It was an occasion to make known my plans over the next three years (or sooner). An end is in sight. Negotiating the transition will require a great deal of thought for all concerned. There’re many uncertainties ahead. But they don’t daunt me. Certainty and endless repetition can make for dull living, in any case. 1.00 pm: Homebase, and a delicious bowel of spicy noodles (+egg, +mushrooms, +cabbage, +meatballs, +chilli sauce):

2.00 pm: On with the paper and the PowerPoint presentation. The two are now like a motorbike and sidecar. In the background, I familiarised myself with the materials required for the appointments panel, which will convene at the School first thing tomorrow morning. We’ll be choosing a new Lecturer in Art History:

4.30 pm: I’d made good progress. The ‘voice’ was finding its confidence … it’s poetic form. For me, this occurs when I begin to conceive of the presentation as speech written down, as opposed to writing to be read. Speech is an emanation of the body. Thus, writing becomes a far more physical process when this occurs. My words weren’t merely my brain’s secretions any longer. New ideas emerged in the act of writing. One couldn’t have hoped for more at this stage. The endeavour had become organic.

7.30 pm: The Harvey Boys collaborated to set up the amplification system for the presentation, using a pair of Bose Revolve+ active speakers:

My younger son has an innate gift for this type of technology, and he enjoys the challenge. For me, it’s just more gear to learn how to deploy. He’s been a great help. 8.30 pm: Back to writing for the remainder of the evening.

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August 30, 2018