Saturday, 9 July 2011

On train from...

Good last day at Lumb, a mixture of tasks, talk and one game to end with. Then in the evening it's the students' reading in the barn. There have been significant improvements in many cases and a general sense of exhilaration. A few of us stay up till shortly before 1 am, including brave Jane whose taxi arrives at 6:45am the next morning. It's very good working with her - we complement each other, her sessions ever busy, buzzing out forms and tasks and ways of going about things, mine more, though not entirely, discursive. Talking and doing. A lot of material is generated and discussed in individual tutorials, and then the ideas that arise can be discussed here and there.

When I consider the last month or so I am surprised to be feeling as well as this, but imagine I will slump somewhat tonight and tomorrow. One of the mature students was talking about breathing last night, breathing primarily as a treatment for asthma. About belly breathing and breathing into your sides. One should never breathe through one's mouth. Our dance student corroborated this as regards dancing. It was fascinating. I don't think I have ever thought much about breathing. It's as natural as breathing, people say. Well, it appears not. Breathing cured the older student's acute asthma - he was living proof. So we learn.

There is an outside world, of course, where empires tremble and a 168-year old paper crumbles. I have never minded appearing on CCtv, and frankly, I don't much worry about some of my data being in the public domain, but this particular scandal, with the tapping of the Dowler family and the family of the Soham girls has an air of particularly repulsive depravity, not a word I use much. I don't mean it is evil in the full eschatological sense, but there is something skunk-like, ratty, undermining about it, something chewing away at the social fabric. It reminds me of the night I spent in Tucson AZ, in the dead man's room. The smell of death was slight, insidious, pervasive, perfectly physical. I hardly slept.


Gwilym Williams said...

I used to do those amazing double-answer crosswords in that paper when I was a kid - long, long, (George - the 1950's!) before it became the present trash - when it really was an entertaining paper.

Have a good slump. Catch up on some slumber.

panther said...

And, of course, neither skunks nor rats would ever do these things. Off-putting and sometimes repulsive though they can be in other ways.

Appearing on CCTV a rather impersonal thing,I feel, unless you subsequently get murdered, or do some murdering. Whereas some CREEP (or a whole group of creeps-what is the collective noun for creeps?) listening into one's phone conversations, very distressed phone-calls, well that is very,very personal. And odious.

George S said...

You're right, of course. The skunks etc are metaphors for the scent of death and corruption - the kind I smelled in the hotel room where someone had in fact died, probably the previous night.

These salacious listenings-in are a kind of death.

panther said...

How unpleasant. I have been in some ropey hotels (one appeared to be doubling up as a brothel) but I don't think I've yet picked up the stench of death.