Reading tonight notes from a journal written in the year after John died.
Notes for a lecture.
Notes from a lecture.
Thoughts, dreams (troubling dreams), worries, hopes, dreams (hopeful dreams).
Drawings, maps, dreams:
With a woman. She’s not very attractive, but because she wants me to I begin to caress her stomach and then her breasts. Finally we take off our clothes, both excited. Once inside her I find her so loose I can hardly feel anything. Still I thrust until I am about to come. Then I pull out, still erect, still excited. As I lie there she picks up a huge polaroid and takes my picture. Then she walks over to the door and opens it. In walk five or six of my students. They are witnesses she has brought, and they see me in unequivocal adultery. She has planned this so she can blackmail me. Before I know it she escapes and I am left with the students. I tell them something about my relationship with my wife that appeases them somewhat. The woman has taken something of mine, but she has also left her purse, so she will have to come back.
The journal is bristling with notes, including ideas for a book about John, who has just died, and a book about standing as metaphor.
Those two books at the heart of this year’s work. 20 years later.
Entries from the trip from Land’s End to the Orkney Islands.
My mind was buzzing, my emotions strong.
Shit, I say to myself while reading it.
What am I doing now?
8 May 1992
[opposite a page with a drawing of Avebury’s standing stones]
“A Walk with Richard Long”
uniformed school children
a skirt over chubby legs
figure on top of Silbury hill
“Don’t Climb Fence”
heavy steel harrow
long, uphill path
West Kennet long barrow
115 strides long
small flat stones (anti-megaliths)
votive offerings: wild flowers, crossed sticks, remains of candle, carrot
wind so hard it makes barbed wire sing
trace of path in grass
white-and-grey bird feathers
traffic, too close
[does Richard Long risk his life on roads like this?]
motorist gives way and waves
a line of stones in a field full of sheep
step in fresh sheep shit
wisp of wool
round barrows on horizon
another hiker, with beard and backpack (Richard Long?)
sketch from hill
“Leaves her purse” – the symbol for the vagina: YOU sly dog you! She is going to “come” again? No, you are ctd. adulterous no matter that all your students berate you and how you look to the rest of the world. This appears to have been the time in your life when your marriage was/ had become joyless if I connect the timelines? x m.r
Sly, if sly, subconsciously. And yes, that was the beginning of the end.