Month: February 2020

February 28, 2020

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7.45 am: A communion. 8.30 am: My inbox was emptied and the studio, prepared for work. I’d woken repeatedly during the night. The brain was more than a little phased as I began to work. Mercifully, I’d already conceived several procedures to apply to my ‘splash’ files; and none would require much mental clarity to execute. At this point, numerology…
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February 27, 2020

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It’s nearly March, but it feels as though Winter just won’t let go. 7.20 pm: Morning-tide: 8.00 am: A communion. 8.40 am: Against the wind, towards the School. On route, I rehearse what I wanted to say to those students that I’d be teaching today: the third year painters, from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm. I arrived early enough to…
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February 26, 2020

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#JULY2021 Ash Wednesday: 8.00 am: A communion. The wind continued to blow hard and cruel. It does so in the lives of some known to me as it does in the country at large, presently. Today is the beginning of Lent: a time for uprooting, pruning, repentance, resolution, and preparation. It’s a solemn but not a gloomy time, one that…
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February 25, 2020

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‘Don’t stop, John! You may never start again’ Morning-tide: 8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: It would be a from pillar to post kind of day. Recycling bags deposited on the drive, I headed off to the Old College to conduct two MA fine art tutorials. I’ll miss this place, once the students have been turfed out. 10.00 am: Coffee…
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February 24, 2020

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There let it freely burntill earthly passions turnto dust and ashes in its heat consuming;and let your glorious lightshine ever on my sight,and make my pathway clear, by your illuming.(St Bianco de Siena, ‘Come Down, O Love Divine’ (c.1350 – c.1434)) Sunday, February 23. Angels with musical instruments abound: the east window, St Padarn’s Church, Llanbadarn Fawr: Monday, February 24,…
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February 22, 2020

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8.00 am: A communion. 8.30 am: Domestic admin. 8.45 am: On, again, with the paper and its Powerpoint. In the background: works by the Japanese experimental musicians Toshimaru Nakamura and Hiroshi Yoshimura. This is not muzak. I’m attending in an unfocussed way – absorbing sonorities; learning from their example, ambiently; discerning the distinctions of the work, casually. I believe in…
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February 21, 2020

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Anyone will tell you / Just how hard it is to make and keep a friend (Joni Mitchell, ‘Jericho’, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (1977)). 7.45 am: I checked that all my gear was in order in readiness for the morning’s workshop with PhD students on the university’s training programme. 8.00 am: A communion. 8.25 am: Up-hill to the campus and…
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February 20, 2020

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‘Let it all fall to the bottom of the lake.’ (Heard in a dream, February 20, 2020) I photograph every aspect of the School these days. The familiar things are forgotten first, in my experience. I’m storing them up for the future: the substance of recollection. Sleep was elusive last night; I’d had too many cups of tea too late…
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February 19, 2020

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‘Let me be the interpreter of the room.’ (Heard in a dream, 5.30 am+, February 19, 2020) 8.15 am: A communion. 8.30 am: I left the house as the painter and decorator entered. Today, I’d built periods for admin into the PhD teaching schedule. 9.00 am: An undergraduate dissertation tutorial with, possibly, one of my last tutees on this module.…
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February 18, 2020

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Mary let her hair down (John 12.1-8). There’re times when all about appears strangely transformed and intensified. Doxological perception, I guess you’d called it: a hymn of vision. In that moment, the natural world seems fresh, vitiated, and urgent, even under heavy weather. I saw bare and tremulous trees, as though for the first time (like new-born Adam in the…
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