online: 30 april 2003
modified: 1 may 2003

29 april 2003 what can I say of my own heart?

19:40 (On paper) Vale of Health pond. Today I am tired and can barely walk here ... and now I'm at this pond I don't feel like writing yet again of ducks -arriving, moving about, patrolling their territories - nor of a fish jumping twice in the middle of the pond. I feel as if that and much else is over, and that I'm falling indeed into neglect (of greater things?), and I see myself in the past as ... not focussed on real work, not exhibiting the seriousness it needs [but now while editing this I no longer believe those melancholy thoughts - I feel that they are an illusion - our true nature is hidden from us*]

But nevertheless I took out the handheld and began writing:

19:47 Late spring or early summer, watching ducks arrive in steep descents to the water while others fly off again in steep ascents... I see no sign of the pair of swans and their nest which is now hidden by quickly growing leaves. Have they gone away? I hear a woman singing as she passes behind the trees...

And now the pond is almost still as the wind drops and the ducks move out of sight and I wonder what is becoming of the world and my part in it, not finished I hope.

The birch trees, growing out over the water, their pink white trunks marked with black marks shaped like dark eyes, reassure me, as does this whole familiar scene, new as it is each time I look and record what I see and hear of it. A clock has just struck eight and I can hear birds and voices as the sky goes darker and the shadows darken. I notice the radio mast of the fire service against a lit up part of the sky, and now rain falls on the screen of the handheld...

...I put it away and continue on paper. Lights go on in the penthouse flat across the water, and in the basement ...grey clouds move quickly west to east as the rain drops become more frequent - I suppose I have to move but I continue. The wind blowing on the water surface makes moving white patterns on the dark green reflections of the trees. A duck is quacking in the distance and something jumps in the pond... as the rain increases I decide to return home to attend to a new piece of writing - I can hear the rain falling on my collar and shoulders.

The rain's stopped so I stop on the way back to write this.

The light is a little strange - it's unexpectedly light on the road across the dam and on other horizontal surfaces - and unexpectedly dark everywhere else.

The wind quickens and I feel colder but I continue sitting here by pond 2. I can hear a slow and very deep beat of some music in the city - the city that includes this partly gardened forest, partly wild. Ducks hoot and honk - or is it geese. It's geese, flying across the water... But my thoughts go to the city and to the table within it on which I'm rearranging about 120 fragments of my recent thoughts** - the basis I hope of a new writing in which I'm trying to reconceive and re-form my life-long work.

*I was thinking of something I read this week of how people in an oral culture do not speak of what is within them - to do so is an effect of literacy (writes the author Walter J Ong). For instance:
...a peasant aged 36, (when) asked what sort of person he was, responded with touching and humane directness: 'What can I say about my own heart? Ask others; they can tell you about me. How can I talk about my character?'
From Walter J Ong, Orality and Literacy, the Technologising of the World, Routledge, London 1988, page 55.

**each thought is written on a small (A9) piece of paper - my earliest and most primitive 'design method' now being applied to what led me to design methods: my perceptions of social flexibility and of how different life could be.

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© 2003 john chris jones

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