Sunday, 30 March 2008
Monday, 24 March 2008
Without sleep: the vast and black night stripped of an end, removed from a beginning. We are the last alive as the world turns quiet. Beyond the trees, a distant shadowline is created by those how have kept their lights on, as though to mark a vigil for the failure of sleep. It is a world in which the dead space allows involuntary memory to flourish. This room has become a crypt. We see more clearly as the daylight loses its strength. Things reappear, roaming freely and without obstruction, as the world of the present becomes swallowed by its own presence. Too much facticity during these long nights: too much materiality to prevent an escape.
The following day, I left Brighton. Impossible to sleep in a place where you feel yourself a visitor, especially where that extended stay has resulted in the fragmented formation of a “past.” We do not create our homes. Bachelard is wrong: sometimes a house, even a city itself, does remain as a geometric box. At best, the sense of “home” emerges as an accident, an alchemical conjunction of hidden and polarised properties. Massive chunks of disused machinery, overturned by thunder and wind, lay adrift in the fields as I left Sussex. A different terrain: an environing world dispersed in time.
That night, I was seated in a restaurant in West Hampstead with Julia Shaer, the only place I am prepared to affix the term “home” to. Because of this, everytime I arrive there, I simultaneously return there. In the restaurant, you arrived shortly after me. The dark and unending night disrupted by the memory of your presence, a presence that offsets the limitless horizon of insomnia and establishes a space of intimacy. My appetite had returned in this space of encounter and I savoured the taste, having previously forgotten the pleasure. I savoured the taste. The following morning, having slept, the same warmth rattled inside your room. Way above us, snow fell over the streets of West Hampstead, pressing down on the windows and evoking that primordial warmth so deeply associated with those words from Bachelard: “Behind dark curtains, snow seems to be whiter. Indeed, everything comes alive when contradictions accumulate.”