Have spent the last few hours wiping away, de-cluttering and destroying what I do not want. The bodies of insects, dead skin cells, droppings, mould, minerals deposited by passing traffic, city grime, dust. Cleaning is also a way to get to know the corners of this space. Now I can make something fresh.
Not that that takes much effort. Even as I clear away the past I’m aware of what new things I am bringing. My own stuff. Bedding, clothes, computer for blogging and webcam. Some alfalfa and wheat grains soaking in water. And at the very least I bring my own body. I am food for so many things. My body itself is a colony. And the food I have brought with me is also attractive to others. I want to put up some barriers of hygiene in order to defend what is mine.
Arriving here in the evening I noticed I was crashing a party. I have some very loud neighbours. As I opened my eyes this morning I saw one of them. It was a jerking shadow crossing the floor by the wall, invisible except as motion. But that motion was distinctively cricket. It seems Andrew Gray’s frog food is pretty difficult to contain. He’s the museum herpetologist. Families of crickets, brought here to be sacrificed, have clearly established themselves in the many crannies and crevices of this Gothic pile. Bloody immigrants.
Until I moved in there have not been many people in the tower. Just hundreds of boxes of plant specimens. Certainly no one has lived here. But that’s not to say there is no life. Some of the impressive fungal growths are like citadels. But I sense that with my warm breath and wetness and fruit and vegetables a new era of life is about to begin. I’m glad it’s not totally sterile. Love for each other requires a tough assertion of boundaries. So I’ve been scrubbing and cleaning my hermitage.
It’s also important for me to have everything in the right place. Perhaps I’m a bit obsessive about this. I can sit and ponder for hours just where a chair should go. To make it more respectable I’ll call it Feng Shui, or Vaastu, or Permaculture. Carlos Castaneda talks about rolling around on a verandah in New Mexico for hours looking for his Power Spot.
(Now I’m remembering my place in this city. Finding Jon Hassel’s beautiful album ‘Power Spot’ in a record shop in Piccadilly. I bought it for the cover. It was a musical revelation. That was over twenty years ago. Piccadilly’s transformed, so have I. The album is exactly the same.)
So I’ve spent hours to-ing and fro-ing in this space, rearranging things, finding views, angles, turning round and round like a dog. It’s important because insofar as I can design my environment it reflects my thoughts. How I arrange things in this space is a reflection of what I think, allows me to think. Indeed as Thomas Merton says ‘if our ideas are not reflected in our actions, we do not really think them’.
Once the physical space is organized, my next task is to organize my time…