Friday, 3 July 2020

AALAWuN LOCKstep continues......


A reply from a prisoner who liked being in prison:

Locked in
Locked up
Locked down
Locked out
Furloughed employees are locked out of their email accounts by their employers. Locked out of work – we will force you to be free.
Furloughed workers wander the empty streets, through the sunlit parks, sit by the silent tennis courts.
The luxury of the philosopher shepherds of ancient Greece – the luxury of time, freed from the daily grind of base labour – freed to dream, freed to THINK.

FORCED to boredom in the parks.
Sunbathe on weekdays

Boris waved a magic wand and we all went to sleep.

It happened suddenly – it is important that it happened suddenly. All at once and all together into suspended animation.

Life became a train journey – carried along, passive, a state of grace, time to day-dream. A peculiar dispensation.

Floating through quiet London streets in the spring breeze, watching scattered people gently strolling, lying in the sun - think of the modernist sanatorium. Aalto’s gleaming white liner floating over the pine-tops…

Think Thomas Mann and Magic Mountains. Time does funny things…


Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' comes
Watchin' the ships roll in
Then I watch 'em roll away again

I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away
I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay, wastin' time
Looks like nothin's gonna change
Everything seems to stay the same


Locks and prisons, prisons and time, architecture and time…
The prisoner is freed from their future.


                          (Origin and meaning of lock by Online Etymology Dictionary)
German Loch "opening, hole," Dutch luik "shutter, trapdoor"
– a trapdoor, a means of escape – to fall through the floor, fall out of time.

Alice falling in the rabbit hole had ample time to ponder her predicament.

Some old slang:
·     A 'wooden parenthesis'; the pillory.
·      An 'iron parenthesis'; a prison.

["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]

Held in place, locked in – LIFE BETWEEN PARENTHESES

Walls too can act like brackets.

EXODUS: Koolhaas’s voluntary prisoners flocked to the magic space held between his two walls: “Two walls enclose and protect this zone to retain its integrity”… between the walls “Time has been suppressed. Nothing ever happens here, yet the air is heavy with exhilaration.”

Exhilaration, yes that’s it.

Why are crises so exhilarating? Why did life feel more real in lockdown? Am I the only one…who felt free...?

                                                                                                        Laurence Lumley 3rd July 2020

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