online: 10 november 2005
modified: 10, 25 november 2005

9 november 2005 order, order

16:19 Sandy Heath. I'm facing sunlight which is illuminating trees and algae-covered ponds between small leaf-covered hills (probably the diggings of sand-pits in the 19th century). A large black dog swims across the water. The forest here seems very static with bare tree-trunks visible in all directions and fallen leaves everywhere though there are still green leaves on all the trees above... And now i see that there are three black dogs together by the water...

When i entered the forest i met a man and a woman holding an Alsatian* dog on two leads. I asked if it was a wild animal and the woman said it had recently been a police dog. Behind them came a woman with a dog wearing a muzzle. I said hello and she said good afternoon.

16:12 Outdoor cafe. Strangely low clouds, pink in reflected sunlight, beneath pale blue sky as dusk begins here in the shadow of Kenwood House. A young man in a black apron is letting down the umbrellas over each table... and lining up the chairs in their geometric places... now that the people have gone.

I read in a newspaper that the British government is proposing a curriculum for the education of babies. Four stages of development are prescribed from birth to three years. And this evening i hear that a government motion (to extend the maximum time a suspected terrorist can be detained without charge to 90 days) was defeated in parliament today. Instead the period of detention was increased from 14 to 28. I am surprised and glad to hear that fear was defeated by principle.

I note all these instances of order, order, as the Speaker says in the House of Commons, and i imagine a time when order need not be imposed (by voting, by teaching, by muzzling, by policing, by explosions, or by any other use of force)... But to maintain our present culture and security we depend on imposed order, do we not?...I imagine that the externalising and sharing of thought will eventually permit spontaneous order to replace enforcement... and i watch the passing traffic.

*German Shepherd dog.

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