Day Thirty Seven: Friday 5th August
Born-Digital Archive Reference Code: IiS_P.B.40_2011-08-05_log-day-37
This file is no longer available due to a resource failure in the archive control procedures of the proprietary live streaming provider for Instability in Stability.*
Anam Cara by John O’Donohue
Published in 1997 by Transworld Publishers in London, Koorebank, and Albany.
I left this book up in the loft last night so I missed out on my mornings reading slot. I decided to incorporate some of my background research into the performance broadcasts, to let my processes of reading and reflecting inhabit the same location as my time for performing and archiving. This is usually a quiet period for me; I read in silence. The most significant words navigating their way around my brain and thought patterns were from Chapter 6:
“Death: the horizon is the well. It ends with a blessing for death.”
“I pray that you will have the blessing of being consoled and sure about your own death.
May you know in your soul that there is no need to be afraid.
When your time comes, may you be given every blessing and shelter that you need.
May there be a beautiful welcome for you in the home that you are going to.
You are not going somewhere strange. You are going back to the home that you never left.
May you have a wonderful urgency to live your life to the full.
May you live compassionately and creatively and transfigure everything that is negative within you and about you.
When you come to die may it be after a long life.
May you be peaceful and happy and in the presence of those who really care for you.
May your going be sheltered and your welcome assured.
May your soul simile in the embrace of your anam cara” (o’Donohue, 1997:278)
Well my friend, the archive, I hope that this is some comfort to you.
And for me my comfort came from a quote O’Donohue draws upon by R.S. Thomas:
“it is that understanding that that little is more than enough”
Today has been a little gesture that spoke far greater than words. As I read and contemplate, watch and observe, words are not needed, we can simply be and become. I leave the quote on the black board and carry on working in the loft without the pressure of the camera being turned on me.
My sister phoned about 2 hours into the broadcast and so I spend some time speaking to her but this is the only aspect of today’s performance until the end of the broadcast because it is that understanding that that little is more than enough.
I finish the broadcast by repeating the quote. It reassures me I am doing all I can with the materials in the loft at this present moment in time. The smallest of gestures can make the biggest of impacts to both the physical and digital realm of the archive, or rather our perception and experience of the archive, breaking down any anxieties about “performing” for the sake of performance and the un-unified rhythms this presents. The chapter on death in the Anam Cara book also echoes this sentiment (without attributing it to the archive, but rather in relation to fear and passing on after life). If we accept fear and let go of it then we can embrace the inevitable – death.
I need to let go of my fear of always “needing to talk/to do something for the camera, for the sake of the broadcasts and that in reality it is ok just to switch on the lens and say go in my head. Go and be free with these objects and see what they inspire, what reactions and actions they prompt and what methods of organisation they call for, in this moment of activation. The time of activation is always fleeting but it is in constant motion. It will change every second and spark a thousand ideas, but in each of these moments is the many beautiful thought-seeds which have so much potential to grow into stunning flowers in the blackness of space (see Hoppy Hoppy Sparrow broadcast). Yes there is the inevitable that the archive will disappear or become transfigured from its current state but lets embrace it for what it is now and the potential it holds for the future.
*note added 25th April 2012