Tuesday, 24 November 2009

So, he took the time with him

... but before that, he told me, some fifteen years ago that I would go and publish books. I just laughed: 'dream on!' But he should be right. He never published a book of his own. I think he should have one, and so he now has one - as My ghost of time.

Two weeks ago, when I was clearing my office I came across a lot of his writings though. Pieces about the Yugoslav war, the politics of education, the need to organise. Along with some grainy photos of him, H., and several others staging the occupation of university buildings in 1993.

I realised that I am now the age he was when I left him to go to Glasgow. The 13 years that happened since are such a long time. It's so much that happened inbetween to make me the person I am now. So, he lost me to Glasgow and I would lose him to the sea - a week before I had to defend my PhD in 2003.

That's all a long time ago. And I learned a lot:
  • to look and observe carefully
  • the importance of ordinariness
  • that one can know things without having to discuss these; but one must never stop
  • asking questions; and
  • the believe in all of the above and thus in people

Now, I've been trying to figure what he may have learned from me. Well, I think I, in my youthful optimism, frustrated him often and with no end. If I can't help myself, I turn to superficiality, and I turned to it very often in those days. But I think he may have learned that optimism can apply to oneself and one's past, too.

That's my ghost of time.

Now: this little piece of performance art was a fascinating experience. And a completely unanticipated one. I let Blogger autopost something that was written one evening (31 July 2009) while sitting in the White Room in Berlin and despairing over the loss of time. So, it was me and it wasn't.

As it was unfolding, I was getting the sense of separation/mediation/transformation of something that was done and that happened a while (and a long time) ago. All the time, it was happening 'live' to all of you.


There's also much more alongside this, which became a bit clearer to me:

Much of what I make art of is concerned with loss and memory - the Fields and the Sea. And all the same, they become something else in the process; they aren't melancholy pieces, by any means; while only I. had read My ghost of time at the time I - eh, Merle - wrote it - and I for some time wasn't sure if it would see the light of day by any means, watching it unfold from behind my laptop felt very good and necessary.

And then there's something about people that matter: it's a bit vague at this stage, but has to do with 'doing the things that are important with the people that are important' - it's really basic, isn't it? To have the best kind of relationship with the people that matter; and it's only of partial importance whether they are alive or dead.

Back to the performance art: while Blogger was doing its thing, I begun to soak up contemporary art, in the space that is now open and in front of me. I got to think back at the Note to future self; asking what kind of art may I make in future. Oh: and that is sooo open, I love it. I don't have a clue what I may make. How fabulous is that!

Do you want to read/see My ghost of time in its entirety: on the sidebar is now a link to a full preview of the book on Blurb.

... and with all this, I've clawed some time back.
Time I never own; time which may be short.
But that is never a good enough reason not to.
I'm very sure of that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gesa, the book is beyond something beautiful. Thumbing through it, absorbing the words---so Zen-like---and the pictures---the colours!---I feel quite like Keats standing alone on the shore of the wide world until love and fame to nothingness do sink. You have given me so much to think about, in my own life---memory, and loss, and how all of that, and the unknown still to come, feeds into our art.

Thank you so much for putting it here.

Cate in Dundee