June 28, 2018

7.45 am: A communion. ‘I’m pushing myself harder now than I did thirty tears ago’. I read this quotation in a running magazine at the physiotherapist clinic yesterday. The author was an 83-year old man who regularly competes in big marathons. His testimony chimed with my own experience of work, as an academic and a practitioner. I’ve never laboured so hard. In part, this is a consequence of what the job demands of me; and, in part, of what I demand of me. In school, I didn’t work hard because I wasn’t confident that I could achieve anything worthwhile. (I wasn’t lazy, I was lacking, and I was bullied.) Then came the change from above. The last thing I want to do, as retirement floats onto the far horizon, is slow down. My body may be a bit clunky at times, but my soul, heart, and mind are more sharply defined, self-knowing, and resolute than ever before. I’m making up for lost time; and these are the best of times; and even better is yet to come:

8.45 am: I’ve been planning a remix of ‘The Kind of Weather We Had Yesterday’, from the I. Nothing. Lack suite for sometime, as well as to adjust the volume of all the tracks, which is presently too high. In respect to the former, the walking bass line (derived from the amplified sound of a car that was accelerating outside the chapel during one of the services) required accentuation. This, in turn, required a patient and tedious rebuilding of the fundamental melodic unit, section by section:

11.00 am: I was closing in on the balance that I’d always had in my head, but not in my ears. Every change implies another change, implies another. (This is an axiom of life.) The samples of Macmillan’s preaching had to be realigned with the, now, more insistent starting beat of the ‘jazz’ accompaniment. 11.30 am: off to School for a discussion with an MA inquirer:

2.00 pm: I was interviewed at home by one of our PhD Fine Art students about my practice. They fielded questions that I wouldn’t ordinarily ask myself. The outcome was illuminating for both of us:

3.00 pm: I continued to work on the revised composition until 4.30 pm, when I walked through the sizzling streets to the Old College for an MA tutorial. I’m looking forward to temperatures around 6°c in a few week’s time:

7.30 pm: ‘Kind of Weather …’ was finalised before the evening was out. Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements and ruminations:

  • If you cannot choose between two courses of action, then don’t. Do both, together.
  • Some artists have a knack of turning wine into water. Good ideas are squandered in the wrong hands.
  • If you can maintain a course of action for a week, then, you can do so for a month; if for a month, then, a for a year; if for a year, then, for a lifetime. Therefore, maintain your resolve and don’t look back.
  • Confidence is not a feeling, principally. Rather, it’s a recognition that in having overcome significant challenges in the past you’ve been prepared to take on the problems of the present and future, successfully.
  • If you bury the past before it has died, history may rise to haunt you in the future.
  • Solutions aren’t guaranteed. But difficulties are.

‘It’s so hot!’ (Some Captain Beefheart in the background.)

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