The Clockhouse, Frogmoor
The idea of Time Management, in whatever form it was practised, always seemed to me sterile. I hate the idea of writing lists and crossing off each item when it’s done. Even before I started to be as deliberate and conscious as now, I instinctively wanted to be open to the chaos of the Universe and not just regulated by the computer-logic that sits in my brain.
When I discovered Chaos Theory, fractals and Mandelbrot sets, I saw that Chaos is a wonderful form of organisation, responsible for the shape and movements of clouds and eddies. I loved to read about Mitchell Feigenbaum, prowling the streets at night whilst experimenting with 26-hour days, or “watching clouds from airplane windows until, in 1975, his scientific travel privileges were officially suspended on grounds of overuse”. He was working on a deep problem: Chaos. (Source: Chaos, by James Gleick).
I’m composing this “despatch” into my dictaphone whilst walking out on a bright Sunday morning, at 7am with no one about, the birds singing joyfully, on a ritual mission with camera and tripod. I wanted to take some photos incorporating the curve of the railway arch, or perhaps this was just an excuse to walk and compose. Now that my life is so tightly organised around working hours, the need to perform chaotic acts from inner inspiration is all the stronger: acts which refresh the parts I’m aware of and other parts which lie below consciousness, which also deserve some recreation.
Playing back the tape to type it here, I hear that morning birdsong again, in the background. It’s the song of the robin redbreast, identifiable because I saw them in the bare trees around the railway arch, watching me with beady eye until I came too close for their comfort.
In the Eighties, I’d not developed a skilled enough song to express what I knew intuitively. But now like the robin, or rather like Keats’ nightingale, I know how to “sing of summer in full-throated ease”. Now I can say simply what I incoherently perceived then.
Managing my time is not to fit more productivity into my day. It’s to make sure I can still connect with a zone beyond time and space, where Chaos, Nature and the Divine eternally take birth.