My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle (Job 7.6).
Sunday, January 19. 3.45 pm: I find it helpful to keep company with the dead, periodically. There’s a section of Aberystwyth’s municipal cemetery that I’d not investigated before. The burials all took place during the year in which I was born. Thus, as I’d entered the world, they left. One generation makes way for another. On walking to the gates, it seemed as though I could ‘see’ (as though from a perspective outside of time) all these lives and their deaths as brief, though singularly significant, moments in eternity: forever unforgotten. It should not be otherwise.
Monday, January 20. 8.15 am: A communion. 8.45 am: I sniffled. A Monday, again (so soon), and the weekly round-up in prospect: the marking and assessment schedule, preparations for the new semester, research matters, and a back-log of emails ‘on hold’ barking for my attention. I scanned the Post-its below my computer screen for a quick and easy task with which to kick off. Then on, in a gentle and phased manner, to those ‘things to do’ that were ‘a wearisomeness to the flesh’, as the writer of Ecclesiastes put it.
12.00 am: I began releasing the dates and curriculum for modules of which I’m co-ordinator this coming semester, and began to populate my teaching timetable:
1.30 pm: A sally to the School where I retrieved parcels and some equipment. Back at home, my new passport had arrived. It felt smaller (diminished) without ‘European Union’ brandished proudly across the top. Maybe, I’ll spray mine blue and paint little gold stars all over:
2.00 pm: On with module notifications. More admin arrived and was added to a new Post-it. Everything happens all at once at this time of the year. 3.15 pm: Postgraduate affairs began to mount. (I’d thought all of this would’ve been resolved by the close of the morning.) Tea, please! (In the background: Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats (1970).)
The more emails I answered the more plopped into the inbox. This was cruel, and not at all how I envisaged the day panning out. Perhaps tomorrow will be trouble free. 5.30 pm: Eventide:
7.30 pm: A few more irritants diffused my vision after dinner. I finalised by undergraduate and postgraduate teaching diary. This will be a demanding semester. However, with the BA (Hons.) and MA Fine Art shows at its conclusion, it would be, also, rewarding, exhilarating, and affirmative.
A reflection on recollection: