April 20, 2020

WFH: DAY 21. Although, the Easter holiday was largely devoted to work (on my own terms). What else was there to do in between one daily-exercise regime and another? I’d set myself the task of testing old and learning recently acquired equipment, familiarising myself with new software programs, exploring the possibilities of improvisation (on my own terms), revisiting a recent composition, writing a Forward to a book, reading about sound, contemplating what’ll be new-world order in the years ahead, listening to others, praying often, being supportive, marking essays, and eating chocolate in a very undisciplined manner.

8.15 am: A communion. 9.00 am: This was the beginning of the Summer term. Following the pattern of the old-world order, I surveyed the weekend’s email-drop and the landscape of teaching and meetings in the week ahead. It’s important to maintain a routine while, at the same time, remaining flexible enough to take advantage of the opportunities that this new way of living and working present. 9.30 pm: Advice disposed, encouragement delivered, and tutorials arranged.

In the present lockdown, people move either with or against their established grain. Those who were strong, find themselves weak; those that were weak, strong; those that were strong, stronger; and those that were weak, weaker. Our resilience (or want of it) is inconstant. Days of confidence in ourselves and our work may give way to periods of despondency and defeat. In the face of life and death issues and the insuperable challenges that lie ahead of us — personally, nationally, and globally — our past achievements and enthusiasms may appear unbearably hollow in comparison. This too will pass. In the meantime, we must learn to judge and proceed without feeling, and to make plans without any certainty that they’ll ever be fulfilled. Presently, the momentariness of life counts for everything.

1.30 pm: Having set up the week, batted-off inquiries, and taken lunch, I listened again to the ‘Such a Noise … ‘ composition once again, following Saturday’s adjustments. One lesson that I’ve learned thus far in respect to this project: I should record natural acoustic phenomena using an analogue device. Wind and rustling leaves sound too brittle, even on high-definition digital recorders.

2.15 pm: A little reading on the mythology of a purely ‘visual’ art, before returning to the end section of the composition. 3.00 pm: I began writing a text that may not see the light of day in the form that had been intended.

4.30 pm: I took my legs for a walk around the perimeter of the Vicarage Field. Perfect weather: sunshine with a cool on-coming breeze. These days, I hear only crow calls, ambulance sirens, and the occasional passing car.

7.15 pm: This diary site went down without warning around 3.30 pm: ‘503 Service Not Available’. There’s always a vague anxiety, buried deep in the pit of my stomach, that my site will never rise again. Is total loss/mass erasure a possibility I should ever entertain?. So much of life is out of our control and in the hands of others to heal and restore. For the first part of the evening I culled by backlog of today’s anxious-student emails. Afterwards, as the sun declined, I returned to the afternoon’s writing. This site was restored around 8.00 pm. (‘What gives?’)

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