June 21, 2021

Into thy hands I myself commend, from henceforth ’til the end.

Saturday, June 19. 8.00 am: A communion/ambulation. Forever winnowing, organising, separating the wheat from the chaff, revising opinions, bolstering determinations, and reckoning. I had Parc Natur Penglais to myself this morning. The green trees bestowed solace. The path that lead to home:

9.00 am: Tea #2. Time was ticking away, and I needed to start planning-out the text and ‘slides’ for ‘The Spirit Cried’ paper. I enjoy pushing the PowerPoint medium. It’s limited, but that encourages me to pursue ways of imaginatively transgressing those limits by applying the applications to situations that they weren’t designed for. Where appropriate, I want to give the paper a contemporary relevance too. To that end, I’ll include the narrative of a young woman named Anne’s confrontation with a ‘black man‘, who stood beneath a holly tree and, later, made extraordinarily loud and disconcerting noises.

For the larger part of the morning and all afternoon, I conducted picture research and ‘slide’ production.

Sunday, June 20. Father’s Day. The boys had exceeded themselves. One also had a arranged for a meal for two to be delivered. The other had bought be a vintage map of Monmouthshire (my home county) — the very same print as the one that I’d failed to find a copy of on the Internet on Saturday, in order to illustrate the above slide. For my birthday, he’d sent me a vinyl of an Alice Coltrane album that I’d been listening to on YouTube just days before. These are manifestations of a genetic networking, I’m sure.

Monday, June 21. 6.30 am: Proof of presence:

7.00 am: I was in an oddly inert state on beginning my walk: ‘grey’, like the day. Our moods arrive and shift like weather fronts. I was seeing, but not receiving. 8.15 am: A communion. 8.45 am: A review of the duties and deadlines. Today would be dedicated to departmental admin. It’s best to get the most irksome tasks out of the way at the front-end of the week. Once again, I was engaging in activities that would not be repeated, by me that is. Over the next few months, there’ll be quite a number of ‘lasts’ to highlight. In the background, there were three new appointments (one in Photography and two in Painting) to fill. I’m a spectator on this occasion. The posts begin in August, so I imagine the interviews may take place in the next few weeks.

2.00 pm: A ‘last’ for one of our number: we held the First and Second Year Exam Board. The impact of the pandemic has taken its toll (which was to be expected), but not to the extent that one might envisage. The staff have gone the second mile to keep them on board and moving in the right direction. Resits, under the Covid-19 protocol, will have most of them back in the ‘black’ by the time they embark on their next level of study, in September. Suzie, our secretary, is always on top of it all. Where would we be without her? 3.00 pm: Back to the admin. It was a grind throughout the afternoon. (‘This too will pass’.)

7.30 pm: There were several PhD dissertation section submissions to review. After July, and for the next year until my tutees are passed the finishing post, these would be my meat.

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