Friday, 31 December 2010

Looking for a List

Sometimes it's a disadvantage that the White Books are undated and miscellaneous. I don't even know where I keep them or how many there are. They're scattered around my flat, on bookshelves and in boxes.

Around this time last year, I sat down with Roderick in the Lord Clyde (my excellent local) and made a list of potential projects for 2010. There were about a dozen things on the list, including (so far as I remember) things like 'Radio Impro' and 'My Show My Rules'. This morning I've been hunting for that list, hoping to prove to myself that very few of those ideas came to fruition. Why would I do that? To torture myself? No. I'd do that because 2010 was nonetheless a very busy year, with plenty of shows and new opportunities that I couldn't possibly have anticipated. And the fact that I'm currently drawing a blank on what I'll be doing in 2011 doesn't mean that my Pocket Diary will remain a bleak snowscape of barren tundra. In short, the list doesn't matter.

I'm looking for a list which I hope will prove its own irrelevance. But I can't find it, so I'll never know. Welcome to my world.

The major advantage of the White Books is that it's impossible not to stumble across all sorts of things I wasn't looking for, especially things I have no recollection of writing. And the unstructured, random and contextless scraps of text have a strange kind of beauty to them. For example, here's an undated list I made at some point in the last two or three years:

Philip Larkin x
Erotic (scary)
All the peas

I assume these are things that all came up in an impro workshop or show, but who knows? It's sometimes better to forget the context, isn't it? As a bit of poetry, the list is far more evocative and meaningful than anything I might have sweated over using my brain. Browsing through the White Books I've also found a few ideas I scribbled down that could form the basis of the beginnings of an outline of a plan of an idea of a scheme for a project that I might resurrect next year. Or not. Or at least something to write about.

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