It’s curious how the feelings associated with a bad dream linger and scent the waking hours, thereafter. In my dream, I discovered that some rogue had stolen artwork and source material that I’d been working on, just as I was about to submit it to the commissioners. An unnerving sense of instability and approaching chaos hung over my breakfasting. (‘Too much cheese too late last night, buddy’, a voice in my head chided.) 8.15 am: A communion.
9.00 am: A morning (at least) of admin catch up presented itself. I wrote out my obligations, prioritised them, and worked from the top, with the week’s diary at my elbow. Correspondence related to past matters had dropped into my inbox and, with them, the associated emotions. The resolution to some things in life cannot be achieved in the short term. And not all things can be resolved even in the long term, alas. Patience and acceptance (which is a more positive response than resignation) were the call of the day. But it was odd that so many past matters had landed altogether. I cannot discern the significance of such an occurrence, if there is one. Nevertheless, it has put me in a frame of mind to revisit other former trials and tribulations, as well as the legacy of those loved and treasured things that had, of necessity, to be concluded. Some things ought to remain in one’s history; but other things (the good stuff) sometimes re-emerge in astonishing ways, and at the right time, without warning. Never give up on the past. It’s still there.
Down my list I proceeded, facing up to irksome, unreasonable, thoughtless, disappointing, and potentially dangerous (as well as delightful and encouraging) correspondence with a mixture of compassion and stoic detachment. 11.30 am: A spot of Marmitification before putting my head beneath the water again.
The tokens of much of my past are embodied in file boxes, filing cabinets, photographic prints, slides, and digital images, pictures that I’ve made, articles and books that I’ve written, diaries and notebooks that I’ve kept (in books and on-line), letters received and sent (analogue and digital), emails and text messages, websites, audio and video recordings (on tape, cassette, and digital media), memorabilia, and memory (which is another kind of archive). Who I was, and what I did and said (for better and for worse) is also embodied (quite literally) in the remembrance and experience of those with whom I’ve come in contact. Thus the past is, in part, physical, relatively enduring, and repeatable (able to be read, viewed, listened to, and spoken, again).
1.30 pm: After lunch, I fearlessly dived to the bottom of my ‘to do’ list … where dark and strange creatures swam. (Some early Roxy Music in the background.) What was my motivation for preserving all this material? We’re talking my birth certificate and beyond, as well as pre-birth residue. (My parents’ memorabilia.) For example, receipts for a pram and a cot. (Very Beuysian.) These things are the relics of times, people, events, and experiences that have been of inestimable importance for me. They’ve provided a solace and an anchor in difficult times.
2.30 pm: On with teaching prep for the days ahead, interwoven by short and immediate responses to incoming missives in response to the morning’s outgoing volley, and further irksome (‘Is this REALLY necessary?’ type) admin.
6.30 pm: The fortnightly ‘smalls’ collation and distribution. The lost sock phenomenon is taking on crisis proportions. 7.30 pm: Studiology. There’s no end to admin other than the one that you determine for yourself, albeit temporarily. On with ‘225’. While the tracks crunched down into single files, I deleted redundant Hotmail and Outlook email accounts. One only is required.