Judge then of thine Own Self: they eternal Lineaments explore, What is Eternal and what Changeable, & what Annihilable. The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself.
I heard a joke the other day. I must have heard it before, come to think of it. “Why do swallows fly south in winter?” Answer: “because it's too far to walk.” A friend emailed me the other day and asked if the winter was getting me down. No, I replied. On reflection, the answer's still no: but it seems to have knocked any imagination I might have for six. If you live in the country -as we do- then most of the things around you seem to exist in a dormant state and, I must say, I feel a bit that way myself. I feel about as likely to write a poem as the tree at the end of the garden looks likely to sprout a leaf. In other words, very unlikely: but not impossibly so.
I'm having a “mad ig” at the moment. A mad ig is a wonderful West Yorkshire expression for a brief, frenzied obsession: it may be with something as obvious as cleaning up or in this case (as readers of my previous post may have already guessed) with the music of Stockhausen. I took the above quote from Jonathan Cott's Stockhausen: Conversations with the Composer. I was reading it in bed last night. In it, they discuss dreams and how they can be like “master keys” to life's problems and clarify situations. It's interesting how just reading about dreams before you go to sleep can trigger interesting ones.
I dreamt I was at school, in a domestic science class. We'd just been given some instructions. The class was a bit noisy and the teacher, soft-spoken. I was near the back and could not hear what it was I was supposed to do. As everyone got up to go through to the next room to do whatever it was, I felt terrified. I had no idea what was going on. This is a dream I don't want to forget, although I probably will, next time I'm in a hurry to explain something: for a moment I knew what it felt like to be a pupil, as opposed to a teacher. I felt how frightening and humiliating it is when you're a child not to be able to do what an adult -not to mention your own self-respect- expects of you.
I also dreamt I met an organised-looking group of people close to the top of the Old Man of Coniston. They were busy shovelling sods of earth into a mound around the cairn, trying to make it higher. I'm still trying to work that one out.
The Solitary Walker has just treated his visitors to a photo of his breakfast –“a heart attack on a plate” as he put it- so here's a photo of mine: porridge (well, jumbo oat sludge) with chopped banana and honey. I was going to call it “a marathon in a bowl”, but the dollop of honey lets it down a bit.