Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The normality of space and time

i went to the office yesterday. i'm not there much anymore. i mostly work from home now or in coffeeshops. and it's very enjoyable this way. so, yesterday, i circulated between coffeeshop, office, different coffeeshop, office, coffeeshop 1 again, and then the office again.

michelle and i had been finalising an application to do with professional practice, concerns over who knows, who learns and who teaches. and what these in turn mean for us working as urban researchers and/or artists. we talked about methodology - about different ways of seeing, experiencing and thus learning.

so, later in the day i realised, after ordering coffee that i was without my money - must have left it in the office. j and i stayed for more coffee and some wine and i had to go and pick up my money. it wasn't late, but very dark. i went to my new office - which is shared now with two postgraduates. it was well past five o'clock, and there was light. one of my new office colleagues was working away - too much to do and too little time to finish it.

and it struck me: how quickly ways of doing become routine become normality. it is so long that i was in my office after 5.30 or indeed on the weekend. and yet both things were normality for all the time i was doing my phd. in fact, i remember fondly evenings spent in office, with breaks for coffees outside and ending in a late film at the gft with my office mates.

i've had this sense of estrangement a lot over the past two months. suddenly, my routines of being in glasgow's west end is thoroughly changing. i find myself in locations after midnight and am lost as to how to get home. stuff i knew six, seven years ago and seem to have forgotten. oh: this is what you can also do.

turning up in the office out-of-hours reminded me of some lushness of other times, other rythms. fair enough: some of these were utterly exhausting, they were marked by anxiety over whether my last 2000 words were any good, marked by no money for the film screening and much more.

learning: step outside, beside, below or next to whatever you're doing. do not take it for granted. watch, observe and listen carefully for all that seems so common. for it is not: common.

a bit of wonky moon in early evening by way of illustration, on way to coffee for free:

1 comment:

Jeanette Jobson said...

Isn't it odd how what was once familiar and routine becomes unfamiliar and odd when away from it for awhile?

I envy you the flitting from coffee shop to coffee shop, full of ideas and anticipation of the future.