July 26, 2003
Spontaneous nothing

Noisy squawking seagulls that woke up my went-to-bed-at-1:30am-head at around six this morning. As far as I’m aware there isn’t any sea for around 91 kilometeres - and yet there’s a flock of seagulls that fly round here every day.

Late night conversations with Ms.Route79 about lazy classroom assistants led to some random spying through the spyhole on the front door - which is when I spotted three shadows across the road. Presumed youth. One of them spraying a tag on a wall. And then it occured to me that this is the first time EVER that I’ve caught someone in the act. Something inside me made me open the door - and the shadows quickly disappeared.

Spontaneous nothing

So what better to do this morning than to try to admire by daylight the spray-painted piece of art that in my own little way I helped influence. But the harder I looked the harder it was for me to see it that way. Unlike Fume. Maybe it was my digital camera that wasn’t capturing the art properly? I took a test shot of random things on my surprisingly uncluttered desk. I cleaned the lens and randomly fiddled about with the settings and was about to give up, get up and make myself a cup of tea when I took a closer look at the test picture I just took. I spent the next 10 minutes staring at it. And it oozed an infinity of stories. But I couldn’t bring myself to writing any of them down - as this would destroy the enormity of it. Perhaps that is art?

An Infinity of Stories

Stare at the above picture for a few minutes. Absorb yourself completely in it. What do you think about? (Click on “comments” below and share it with me.)

Posted by jag at July 26, 2003 07:11 AM

I think of dreamy visions of being a 4th-year O-Level pupil at upper school (Grade 11 for my Americanized cousins) - and how I committed to my memory the first 10 digits of the value of “pi” : 3.141592653

Posted by: Jag on July 26, 2003 02:06 PM

Great snap Jag. Makes me think of relationships. People you love, but who are far away. People you write to (the stamps) or speak to on the phone (it’s a calculator, I see, but at first I saw it as a phone). You keep their picture there so they’re close to you. But you’re right to call it an infinity of stories. There are so many stories that these objects could conjure up. All this talk of stories made me think of the American writer Paul Auster. “An infinity of stories” could have been an alternative title for a project he worked on called the National Story Project. It started out as a show on National Public Radio. Listeners were encouraged to send their short stories to be read out on air by Auster. The project was so successful that a selection of the stories was published as a book, edited by Auster, called True Tales of American Life”. Going back to the photo, it’s almost impossible to look at a photograph without thinking of possible stories it could fit into. That’s why looking at portraits of strangers is so interesting. Who are these people? What are there lives like? Here’s to stories…

Posted by: Stu on July 26, 2003 05:20 PM

Hear hear Stu. Couldn’t agree more.

Re Paul Auster: well the ignoramus that I am - I’d never heard of him before - but a quick Google-surf and I found: http://www.paulauster.co.uk/ - which seems to match the profile of the Auster that you describe. Thanks for the ref!

Posted by: Jag on July 26, 2003 09:01 PM

I was reading about sliderulers earlier and so the calculator and B&W photo takes me back to the 70s. Family and friends travelling between here and there - first a clash of cultures and then not so much a clash as a comingle. Beautiful girl - maybe much missed.

Posted by: Lisa on July 26, 2003 11:40 PM

Hey Jag. I tried to put in a link to Stuart Pilkington’s Paul Auster site in my comment, but it didn’t work for some reason. I’d definitely recommend his writing. My favourite of his works is a book called “The Invention of Solitude”. Sounds depressing but it’s very good. It’s a “meditation on fatherhood” - an account of his memories of his father, and his own feelings about becoming a father himself. It’s a very thought provoking book.

Oh, and congrats to Ms. Route79! :-)

Posted by: Stu on July 27, 2003 12:42 AM

Hi Stu; Your recommendation was too hard to resist: I have just ordered it!


And what’s more - because it’s been such a long time since I’ve ordered books over the web (last time was Amazon/Bol over 18 months ago - at the time the other-half was just into the Teacher Training) I decided to “shop” around - and found out that not only is WHSmith cheaper than Amazon and Bol - they also deliver for free to your local WHSmith store - which blows Amazon/Bol away because: a) you might not be home when a “bulky” book gets delivered and b) you might not use your work address because you don’t trust your office postal handling system to mislay the goods - and c) it’s free and WHSmith is probably only a short lunchtime walk away from your office!

Many thanks Stu!

Posted by: Jag on July 27, 2003 12:09 PM

Hope you enjoy it Jag!

Posted by: Stu on July 27, 2003 09:54 PM
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