online: 28 april 2002

27 april 2002 nature and after

18:20 The swan/goose seat. Today each is on its own side of the pond and they seem not to be contesting territory... After some time I see them swim unaggressively past each other close to the floating island.

A coot, if that is what it is called, comes off the water and settles down on the grass at about 8 metres from me. Then it gets to its feet and moves to sit at about 5m from me, and then at about 3. (I realise that these numbers are in the Fibonacci series reversed! - 8 minus 5 equals 3) As the first signs of dusk begin its neck seems to shorten until now its head is almost resting on its back.

After it has sat close to me for about 20 mins a dog, a spaniel, jumps into the pond and the coot gets up, runs across the grass to the water, and flies away somewhere... then a man in wellies carries a woman, pick-a-back, over a swampy piece of ground. The dog is with them. I don't know if I've ever seen adults do that. I don't think they knew that I saw them do it - they didn't say anything as they passed between me and the water and I didn't say hello (as I usually do when people walk close by).

...A fish jumps. The air is colder today and I am wearing winter clothes again, even a scarf. A few spots of rain fall on the handheld so I put it away and get ready to go. Before I do that I brush off some of the greenflies that fell on me earlier when I sat beneath some trees. There were dozens of them. This year there are more insects than I every remember seeing in April, or perhaps at any time in Britain.

I continue writing, but now on paper:

Getting up I see that the coot is now sitting 20 metres to my right, and partly behind me. I wonder if it will stay there as I walk by... yes it did!

And now, at the end of the pond, I see the swan chasing the goose again, but rather gently, as if it were a game. Perhaps it is? If only the Palestinians and the Israelis would treat their conflict as a game, and even smile a bit. What does it look like from outer space, all this killing? We should all be ashamed of ourselves - we are all people.

I stop while crossing the avenue of limes and listen to two birds singing, perhaps to each other, and realise that this calm and empty scene could be my last moment on earth, and it's beautiful... so I stand here awhile and look about, and listen, despite the cold.

19:50 Now it's raining so I button up and walk swiftly back, seeing the hospital above the trees as I approach the station - and I think of my visit there to be examined a few days ago.

When I reached the train my outer clothes were soaking wet but my underclothes were dry.

And now, typing this indoors with the heating on, I feel glad also of the minimal comforts and conveniences and stimuli of indoor life and of cities, I feel sorry for the coot and the swan and the goose out there all night on the rain. But they are fully adapted to it, they submerge their heads in water as readily as we submerge in air, or on buildings!... And yes I like this little flat and the computer and the phone line (and such) that enable me to write this, and to eat and rest, and to feel alive to the world and to be a part of it, though apart, perhaps necessarily so at this time when few know or grasp what I am doing though it is so simple - as well as complex. This is it.

Could a robot be programmed to write this kind of thing - perhaps not - but 'the diary of a robot' might be a good thing to attempt. Perhaps I will do it - for imaginary robots - which is perhaps what we all have become?

digital diary dates


© 2002 john chris jones

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