Yes, there is the possibility of a soft sigh, not emitted from our lips but heard, and coming from an unknown location, and I am unable to detect its source or even the direction from where it was made. From above if anywhere, and in my mind as a sound, either immediately over where I am stood, or better to say on a perfect trajectory, coming to meet with my next step or next step after that, because I have had for several years now the image of a iron metal axehead falling from the sky, but were I to look up at this moment, and were I to ask you to look up with me, and we peered together through the sparse clouds and up into the blue sky above we would as like as not see nothing, or at the most only a speck so small that it would appear to us as a tiny flying bird or perhaps less than that, in our state of diminished awareness, something indistinguishable from those vitreous floaters which drift across our eyes.
This image of a falling iron axehead being ‘the area of the Coda’ – ‘where immense life is possible’ I had written down two months ago (March 9th), being the helpful and precisely accurate phrases I had heard used by the contemporary Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov to describe his method of musical creativity – the area of the Coda, not an intimation of mortality but of immense life, in an unfolding and recapitulation.
Including of the just past, of our recent historical experiences and processes -
The ‘Just Past’, Uncle Wally corrects me, being the category of the last century (the 20th in this instance as it relates to us, while for Walter Benjamin writing in the 1920’s and 1930’s it was the 19th), and, since we are still alive to this very day, our lives in it as successors and survivors from as far as the second and third generations back.
- You English, a Danish friend, who has been living in our misty isle for most of the last twenty years, told me last week, And your politics, he went on, I notice two things which I don’t understand, how you are always disempowering yourselves and your apathy.
And it is often true in the dialogue between us, but here over the last few weeks, something shocking seems to have happened to our politics, the sense of the re-emergence of the capacity for ideological quarrel, being visible in the area of the Coda through the recapitulation of the just past. We would go to war for Democracy, we shout out together, But we wouldn’t go to war for capitalism, Or the free market, another voice says, Or the progressive agenda, says a third, and so on, and other words…
…“I never expected to hear myself say”, and even in the presence of Michael Portillo this morning, who used these very words during his radio broadcast in a three part series - Democracy on Trial – begun on BBC Radio 4 today, to which we can ‘listen again’ these next few days if we so wish.
Yes, there is indeed the possibility of a soft sigh.