There are three words given/suggested to me by the iPad: I, The and You. The thing is that they begin to take root as though I do, in fact have to use one or all of them. And it’s lovely, the world opened up by these three words: me and you and this object, whatever it is. The thing is, you and I and the object have to take a trip, have to do something. The proverbial journey awaits us. The sweat of anticipation drying and cooling in the chill winter air. There are voices and laughter coming from the other room, across the passage with its low wattage bulb that miraculously has survived from 1953. One doesn’t hang about in that passage, straight across to that other room, the door has been left open three or four centimetres, letting the light and noise inhabit that greasy corridor, giving a brief semblance of life before it is snuffed out.
Here, in this room, on this side of the passage, it’s quieter, somehow a reflective atmosphere has taken root and established itself as the dominant force, reflection and thought. You have to discover in which room you belong. I use the word room, but hall might be more accurate, a creation of wood and stone and space. Roaring fires in one, slumbering stoves in the other.
Are you trying to wake up or fall asleep? I hear the question but am unsure how to answer it, how to respond to it. Are you climbing or falling? But tell me, how do I value equality and at the same know that work and practice involves leaving the inertia of the horizontal world of equality for the risks and adventure of the vertical. Can it be assumed that we are all involved in the work of the vertical, the climbing of some actual or metaphorical mountain? Or rather do we have to accept that some of us will choose that very inertia? But it is not like that. What makes us human (I’m only human!) is that we will endeavour to choose both: sinking into the warm waters of inertia (I’m so exhausted, I can’t be bothered, I’ll do it tomorrow) and almost simultaneously begin to plan the next project.
And let’s pause to remember the ancestors. It is appropriate at this time of year as we turn our faces to the future to remember that we can only glimpse bits of possible futures if we stand on the shoulders of the ancestors. In which room or hall are the ancestors? They must be in both: roaring with laughter, arguing in one one, reading, writing, studying in the other. And sometimes pointing outside to the challenge that awaits.