13:39: 4 December 2001 the news

outdoor cafe (I wrote nothing - instead I read a newspaper - disturbing news from Israel/Palestine)

Ken Wood estate. A seat inscribed:

1987 Walter and Dora Raeburn 2001
(did they both live for 104 years? I cannot imagine what else it could signify...but...?)

Barbara Hepworth's Empyrean - it's getting mossy (as well as scratched with a Greek-like word that I noted earlier). Should it be cleaned? I'd say yes - but it's a difficult decision. It was meant to be modern so surely it looks wrong when covered with a mossy growth of fifty years already? But if it is regularly cleaned and scraped it will get smaller and smaller... and never be the same as it was! There's no answer.

I'm feeling happy today though I awoke feeling low.

This part of the park is like a theatre before me - and I am its only audience (a landscaped view towards Highgate church spire with a constant irregular flow of people and dogs passing on the gravel path before me). Now there is a pause between acts...

...rembering the many handwritten notes I wrote on the way here (they are waiting to be transcribed) I decide to return. And my hands are getting cold.

Transcribed from notes on paper (late evening):

In a crowded train I could hardly avoid reading lines from two books being read by people around me - astonished to find both the language and the events described to be entirely predictable:

'on his way back to the barracks he forgot her'

'her arms around him'

What can be the point of writing or of reading such? (and I see that one of the books is a prize-winning novel)

...at least The Lord of the Rings(which I am presently reading and studying) is less predictable - and somehow the continuous sameness of attack and defeat and quest and flight is informed by deeper thinking.

Headline in popular newspaper: 'Lord of the Rings beats Our Harry' (Potter). I noted my amazement that popular journalism recognises difference of literary quality and that 'everyone' is supposed to know of and to feel possessive of these books, both of which sell so many millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, but the more profound one sells more, apparently. (Or was that headline referring to the films?)

I think it is time for me to widen my attention to include what is POPULAR! e.g. The Mirror, The Sun and even tv (which I don't have and almost I never see). (And the mirror and sun are such splendid names.)... and also to enjoy the mis-reporting of news and all such fictions ... to cease ignoring it and to ask what's behind it (for popular journalism is surely as significant as 'intelligent' journalism - probably more so).

So what about those lines from romantic novels being read in the train? Surely they are as significant as is anything at all, as is the (actual) sun, or is an atom, or a leaf, or actual love, or death, or anything?

There are many more notes to transcribe but it's late and I'm getting sleepy. Perhaps I can type them tomorrow?

digital diary dates