The Great Release

In the old days, I’d have found better ways of using the time. I longed to take myself off to a remote place– an Artic radio station, a mountain lookout, or — in grander dreams– the epic loneliness of a spacecraft. The gentle persistent of daily routines. The making of coffee, the delicacy of chocolate. A game of correspondence chess. The heroic frugality of tinned food cooked over a spirit stove. A time to discover time: learning patience as I tuned myself into the rhythm of the cosmos or the landscape. A slow life.

Some time along the way, I became frantic, distracted. My thoughts are no more suited to solitude than I am to swimming long distances underwater. Instead, I look over old letters, and archive boxes of my past life, marvelling at the things I retained or considered valuable. A blackbird feather. A toy robot. A mixtape. A postcard of Alberto Giacometti. In a notebook from those days, I find a quote from Nostromo by Joseph Conrad, one of those books I could imagine retaining for the long journey into the emptiness: ‘all this is life, must be life, since it is so much like a dream.’

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