It is good to be back home, and yesterday was spent in a few restorative pursuits, watching a couple of films, eating a little comfort food in the evening, scrambling up Cley Hill in the afternoon, some gaming before lights out. There was even a little admin, an invoice here, a phone call there, and a touch of composition thrown in for good measure.

Although the hours seemed to fly by, now that I look back I see that I managed to achieve a fair amount, and a decent mixture of work and play as well. Today is another day for being out and about, though I think that the omens are good for possibly another mix-and-match of work and relaxation before the night rolls in.

As I continue to add material to the cantata I keep having to push to the back of my mind the notion that what I am writing is complete rubbish, that it not only sounds but also looks terrible, and I have to repeat that mantra that this is the time to switch off the critical part of my brain and just get the material down. The honing and the refining and the rejecting can come later, but the important thing now is simply to throw the clay onto the potter’s wheel and not care what it looks like when it lands.

Cley Hikk
Getting towards the top of Cley Hill.

Thankfully I have reached a vague level of experience where I know that the slight feeling of helplessness of this stage of the process will pass in good time. I need to continue to trust in the fact that it has worked in the past to assure me that, yes, it will work this time as well.

I was given a book about Leonardo when I was in Anghiari, a little gift of thanks from the mayor, and read it on the tube back from Stansted on Saturday, and the images that struck me the most were the preparatory sketches rather than the finished products. I really should do more of that initial sketching, I think, write, delete, write again, refine, adjust, and inch towards the final version. After all, Leonardo apparently did it all the time, Beethoven too, of course, and neither of them was too shabby as a creative artist.