…clouding the issue

26.Interstellar clouds are made up of hydrogen and cosmic dust, the mystical place where new stars are hatched. Creation requires the coming together of things; an experiment, an observable reaction, a bold joining or merging of molecules. The aloneness of the artist is deceptive. The coming together, the connections, are all happening within. Cumulus clouds,Continue reading “…clouding the issue”

…teaching in the age of Covid

25.You return to teaching after many months away. But this is not teaching as you know it, sitting around a table with your students to debate, discuss and enquire. Instead you are in your living room, meeting your students on a laptop screen. This is teaching in the age of Covid, and this is whatContinue reading “…teaching in the age of Covid”

…the shifting plates

24.The earth is a volatile, shifting being, its wonders both hidden and exposed. Magma bubbles and flows thirty kilometers below its exterior, forever searching for cracks and weaknesses, places to squeeze through to the surface, to make itself known. To be seen. You’ve held secrets that have behaved in much the same way, squirming inContinue reading “…the shifting plates”

…soon you will write

23.Books on your coffee table: — The Philosophy of the Bed, by Mary Eden & Richard CarringtonYou found this book in a strange kind of thrift shop, a greenhouse beside a garden cafe, its glassy walls housing furniture and crockery, paintings and books. The book has a tattered dust jacket bearing a reproduction of GrandeContinue reading “…soon you will write”

…talking about the weather

22. He said, Things must be bad if we’re talking about the weather. As if it doesn’t matter. — But that day you both stopped under the arches where someone had left flowers and he wanted to kiss you, that day was spring warm and the sky was blue like a promise. — The dayContinue reading “…talking about the weather”

…the golden ratio

‘The golden ratio is one of the most famous irrational numbers; it goes on forever and can’t be expressed accurately without infinite space.’Live Science 21. You are reading the scene in Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things when Ambrose Pike discovers the garden at Alma Whittaker’s grand house, and asks ‘what mad genius tookContinue reading “…the golden ratio”

…things people say

20.—Your Grandad lived by the phrase Moderation in all things. His garden contradicted this with its abundance of fruit and vegetables, but any excess found its way to the kitchens of friends and family. Mostly you remember the black grapes hanging like jewels from the ceiling of his greenhouse. They were full of pips andContinue reading “…things people say”

…after bed

19.When Joan Didion writes about her migraines in her essay, In Bed, she reveals that doctors believe there is a ‘migraine personality’, which includes being inwardly-focused, ambitious, rigidly organised and a perfectionist. You pause to reread this list, noting that you probably tick all of these boxes. You have suffered with migraines for as longContinue reading “…after bed”

…a life in libraries

18.— From the age of 8 to 12 a mobile library stops outside your house. You remember the smell of dust and rubber and paper, and the ridges of wood that edge the shelves to stop the books from sliding out. You borrow a book about boys marooned in the jungle who survive by buildingContinue reading “…a life in libraries”

…case studies

17.— In 1997 Janis Schonfeld, a Californian interior designer, volunteered for an antidepressant drug trial. She had suffered with clinical depression for many years and was desperate for a cure. She took the drug for eight weeks and felt significant improvement, although she did suffer with nausea, the side-effect of the drug. The EEG recordingsContinue reading “…case studies”