online: 14 may 2004
modified: 16 may 2004

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13 may 2004 restart

A new start, I hope - the anniversary of 13th May 1958, the time when my second daughter Sarah was born and when I was writing the automation articles*, which was also a kind of birth.

16:47 Pond 1. Aware of newstart, or rather the resuming of such possibilities as those of 1958, but now as thoughts and fictions uncompromised by social reality as it is.

I see a red helicopter flying over the rooftops and hear and see emergency vehicles with sirens speeding towards Parliament Hill - so I go there to see what is happening.

17:06 City panorama path below Parliament Hill. Yes, the red helicopter and a police car or ambulance are on the playing field - about 300 metres away.

There's something good and prophetic, as well as ominous, in this growing modern ability to attend physically and quickly to what are called emergencies...

But the ground vehicle has gone and the helicopter is not moving. There are people in red moving slowly round the running track and paying no attention to the emergency, if that's what it is.

Now a ground vehicle arrives and someone is moved from it to the helicopter - which rises vertically before setting off towards the south west.

I've not often seen purely vertical motion unsupported by a rope or such - it looks somewhat uncanny - not even a bird or an insect can do it.

The emergency is over and normality, as we perceive it, is immediately resumed.

Today I am conscious of having decided to cease compromise with contrived social stability and to attempt to write only of each moment - or of the as yet fictional possibilities of everything... As I think about this I ask myself which, of the elements of this moment, or any other, can or will reappear in the uncompromised fictions I hope to write, now or later... And whether I can find ways to combine the present moment with its fictional possibilities?

These thoughts bring me peace.

There's a small bird making sounds I don't recognise. It's somewhere in the oak tree nearby. And there's a very small child and a dog playing beneath it. Is theirs the way to combine moment and fiction - to turn each action into make-believe, or play? Yes of course, and especially if play includes also theatrical action and a playing with words, and with reality, so-called.

I hear a church clock striking six. What a fiction is that, though over serious I'm sure. That's what I'm fighting and trying to ignore - the imprisoning of time, and thus life. Now for some more playful artifice!

18:07 ...these notes, written on what I call the panorama path, they could be my literary turning point. I shall return.

18:35 A short walk back to the station, in some delight, through the stillness. No wind, countless leaves, several dandelion clocks ready to be blown away, a duck flying quickly beneath trees and even through them... and now thoughts of a fish soup that I intend to make when I get home.

*'automation', in the internet and everyone, pages 79 to 103. Written and published between 1957 to 1958. The part I was completing just before Sarah was born is called 'Some implications of automation'. This was not published at the time but appeared in 2000 as 'part 8, uncertainties and dangers' on pages 101 to 103 of the above reference.

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