March 25, 2021

What was begun in honour will end in dishonour;
And what was begun in joy will end in sorrow
And those who gave will take away.
‘God is not mocked’.

WFH: DAY 63/LENT 32. Feast of the Annunciation. In my dream, I was about to administer the vaccine to members of the public without any prior training. I was clueless. (Sublimated imposter syndrome, perhaps.) 8.00 am: A communion:

8.30 am: I reviewed the next two day’s commitments and deadlines, before attending to the proofs of my opening chapter in Sheona Beaumont and Madeleine Thiele (eds), Transforming Christian Thought in the Visual Arts: Theology, Aesthetics, and Practice (London: Routledge, 2021). The book ought to have been published last October. But due to the pandemic, etc. etc. I’ve never experience any pleasure in re-reading my published writings. Whereas, I delight in listening again to a sound composition or looking once more at a visual image that I’ve made. Academic writing tends to be propositional and informative. It ought also to illuminate the reader. But rarely will an author be surprised by their own observations, opinions, and conclusions. My practice-based work, on the other hand, catches me off guard continually. Even though it’s I who’ve made the work, it never fails to teach, nourish, console, and encourage. This isn’t an audacious claim about quality. It’s simply a fact.

10.00 am: Tea #3/’Tree’ #8. My focus was punctuated by emails regarding proposals for a physical show of undergraduate and postgraduate work in May (provisionally), reference requests, and a PhD proposal. The latter has moved outside of my remit to some extent, since I won’t be teaching at the School after July 2022. By the close of July this year, I’ll not longer have responsibility for the undergraduates. The countdown has begun.

12.30 pm: ‘Tree’ #9. (Half-way there.) 2.00 pm: Postgraduate admin. Plans are afoot, and will be made known early next week. Then, it was back to the ‘forest’. (In the background: Miles Davis, On the Corner (1972).) 4.30 pm: Air. For a change, I ventured the route through the Vicarage Field towards the path that runs parallel to the old Tax Office and the School of Art, and afterwards on to the Avenue. There I met with one of my students, who was learning to roller-skate. They’d mastered forward motion with grace, but hadn’t yet learned how to break. Me, I’d have got the latter under my belt first. I admired their reckless reversal of priorities. It was a manifestation of the same attitude that’s evident in their approach to painting … and one of the reasons why they’re so good at it.

6.30 pm: More sock pairing duties, etc. 7.30 pm: Back to postgraduate examination admin, in the light of what is to come. Finally, an academic reference.

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