I decided it last night. I was both excited about it and a little nervous. I put it out ready. Would there be enough battery power for the whole hour? I’d wait and see. It was only a trial run. I’ll carry it in my hand, I thought, as I walk. Did I still need my stick? No, I’d try without. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself or it. Just hide it a little with my sleeve. Yes, that would do. I wanted to capture all the sounds right from the beginning. Did I get the key in the lock? No, I don’t think so, next time. I did get the sound of my steps on the wooden stairs, and the door shutting behind me. Would it pick up peripheral sounds like the seagulls crying in the distance or just the swoosh of my waterproof trousers as I walked? It was fascinating how different my walk became as a result. I heard everything, acutely, as I wondered if the machine had picked it up. The sudden noise of the sea as I came down the little hill by Alexandra Hall, the chatter of voices on various benches along the Prom, the pounding of music from Pier Pressure, car tyres, the hum of the generator in the Old College and the wind. Not strong but it was there. I haven’t listened back yet. The memory of it is enough for now. We shall see. Would each day be different? What possibilities does it hold?
I listened to two of the Pursuit of Beauty recordings on the iPad, one on Virginia Woolf and the other on ephemeral art. Fascinating. The first for its poetry and association of place and the other for the integrity of the artists who make work that won’t last. The immediacy of it was like my experience this morning. Each step had merit, each breath, each roll of the tide. This is now. This is me here now.
We have reached a place of peace with it. He isn’t going. I shall go alone. It will be OK. It is OK.