March 24, 2021

‘He restoreth my soul’ (Psalm 23.3).
Distract yourself from distracting thoughts.

WFH: DAY 62/LENT 31. 7.30 am: On my walk homeward from the Parc, sunlight broke through the morning mist and raked the high-ground all around. Trees that were formerly indistinguishable from one another against the dark density of the forest, now stood in stark relief. In that moment, both the world and I changed.

8.30 am: A review of last night’s incoming mail. 9.00 am: I took up the ‘Noisome Spirits’ website once again. This must be finished by the time the record company has manufactured the CDs. The literary constipation eased after half-an-hour. Once you get the first sentence to flow, the others follow (for a while). 10.30 am: Off to town on a glorious Spring day for a haircut. (Hoorah!) Not that I’ve any complaint against my wife’s efforts in this department of life. She’s a copyeditor after all and, therefore, skilled in hacking-off the superfluous and unwieldy. (Transferable skills in action.) The hairdresser always commends her homespun endeavours. The town was thinly populated. There’s still too few shops open to draw them in.

11.15 am: Tea #3 in hand, I was back at my desk and the paragraph that I’d been wrestling with. Today, finally, I was in the groove, on a roll, strutting my stuff, and getting it on-down (boogie). 12.15 pm: A brief posting to my elder son who, like me, is a jazz aficionado:

Interesting. A story derived from the book about Miles Davis’s album Kind of Blue that you bought me: James Brown’s Cold Sweat (1967), was unashamedly and evidently inspired by So What on that album. Interestingly, too, Davis became a great admirer of Brown who, it’s said, influenced some of his late period electric jazz.

Brown, like Jimi Hendrix, couldn’t read music and new nothing about music theory. Yet, he’d sufficient creative imagination to compose and arrange music, organise a band, and make an enormous contribution to the evolution of funk. I was reminded of a quotation that came to me via Twitter:

Inability is often the mother of restriction, and restriction is the great mother of inventive performance (Holger Czukay).

I’ve known students with enormous natural facility and a breadth of technique and ideas, who went onto achieve little with their aptitudes; and, I’ve known students with meagre means who’ve made the world turn just that bit faster.

1.00 pm: An online staff meeting about the return to face-to-face teaching after Easter:

2.00 pm: A postponed MA fine art tutorial. 2.30 pm: Back to where I was: ‘tree’ #7. Forward momentum was still holding. 7.30 pm: Back to where I was.

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