25 September 2001 mist and clarity

12:50 or so. Opaque fog over most of central London. Clear air over the heath. No movement, little sound. It's as if the traffic has stopped - also the planes. But, as I wrote that, I heard a train pass half a mile away and now I hear a plane and one or two crows. Now a church clock strikes one and I hear voices from school children walking at the bottom of the hill. But still the usual background of traffic sound is muffled - or as if gone!

Still no wind - and the mist persists. St Paul's and the city towers are only just visible - Canary Wharf can't be seen. I like mistiness as well as clarity.

I'm in no hurry today - having written, in a few hundred words this morning, what I feel is the writing I've been failing to write for a month. I've made it into a collaborative writing which I invite the other participants to complete. It's called 'designing as people'. The form fits the subject, at last, and it also removes (or makes constructive) the invited academic criticism that must have been causing me to write, and then to reject, three or four earlier versions. So I'm happy with it at last - and so glad I don't have to refuse.

This solution came to me in the last minute of a twenty-minute final attempt before giving up. This kind of meta-struggle is very familiar to me but it never gets any easier. I believe it is the culture slowly transforming itself, in the driven minds of those of us who cannot abide it as it is - and who do not want to let any new addition conform to old forms that repress. But it's more positive than that. When the attempt succeeds it is a joy and a real difference - for the world is indeed slightly altered, for the better we hope.

Now I feel like walking again - knowing that the necessary struggle is over for the moment.