December 20, 2016

8.15 am: A reading. Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, was temporarily struck dumb because he didn’t believe the angel’s news that God would or could answer his and Elizabeth’s (his wife) prayer for a child, so very late-on in their lives (Luke 1.20). Silence as punishment. Silence for faithlessness. Silence in waiting. 9.00 am: I returned to the article, adjusting, clarifying, amplifying, deleting, rearranging, and exemplifying my source paper.

I wrote in silence. There are times when even background music is too much. Perceptually, time travels much more quickly when I’m writing. Songs are heard on the periphery of consciousness; they begin and end, but I hardly notice what takes place in the middle. While in the reverie of thought, it’s the small noises in the house, such as the clunk of radiators, remote clicks, footfall, and doors closing, and, without, the noise passing of cars, sirens, bird song, dog bark, and children at play in the far distance, that I find myself listening to. Unlike the sound of familiar (and sometimes ignorable) music, these noises are inadvertent, unique, and casual. And it’s for those reasons that they summon my attention:

Following lunch, I pushed on further with the article. Paragraphs snapped together like Lego bricks.

6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: On and on and on, until 9.30 pm. 9.45 pm. I watched a BBC documentary on Robert Rauschenberg. So much of our vision of what is worthy of attention — what may become art — derives from the possibilities he’d legitimised in his lifetime. He had not only a profound gift of sight but also the courage to act upon it, regardless of the implications.

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