Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Saturday 21 July 2001

Today is the third anniversary

Today is the third anniversary of this Diary. This Diary is three years old. My analogue diaries go back to a Letts' schoolboys' diary when I was eleven years old. It sits in a box in an attic in Deepest Dorset with many other journals and diaries.

In some traditions, challenges of an extended duration are presented to its students & disciples (those who aspire to acquire the discipline on offer). This is in contrast to challenges of an intensive nature when ten minutes may, experientially, seem to last a lifetime or longer.

Forty days is a considerable period to honourably meet an ongoing challenge. So, how might one year be? Or three years? Even, if we might consider it possible in principle, a lifetime challenge? What could we know what a lifetime challenge means until, possibly, we are at the end of our lifetime challenge? If this seems quite a long time, perhaps three years might give us, at least, a taste of what is involved. We would learn something of our frailties, and our capacities.

One formulation of this exercise in living is to undertake a challenge for One Thousand and One Days. Sometimes the rider is added: "however long a thousand and one days may be". How long is time? is a longer topic. For the purposes of this online Diary, 1001 has been three years.

Now, at the end of this period of extended challenge, I have moved on from where I was at the beginning; literally and metaphorically. I am presently better positioned to meet my responsibilities and aims than I was on the day this Diary began. The music industry is also a very different place to operate - for several reasons, not the least of which is technology. I am also in the same place, personally and professionally. What is different is my relationship to that place: this is the strong sense of moving on.

We are always where we are, but we don't often know where that is. A personal aphorism (that was first presented to my long-time Wimborne friend, Alan Cosgrove) is this:

If we're going from A to B, better to know that we're at A.

Most of our sense of ourselves is delusional. If we hope to reach our destination, then better to know the point of departure. So, where are we? There is no room for self-deception here, but to bear what we are is not pleasant. To know the poverty of our nature, for even a point shorn of duration - in a flash - is an awakening to terror and hope.

Where we are is (also) how we get there.

And where I am (in Deepest Dorset) is also 45 miles West of where the Diary began. Today, where I am QWERTYising is some 4,500 miles West of that.

Also this morning, reflecting upon the completion of this challenge, a bright idea flew by. I will return to this idea and look at it, to see if the idea is only bright or shining. A shining idea is hard to deny.

Gustav the Groover is grooving away in The Basement this evening. Packing is 90% completed, new strings are on the gold Fernandes waiting to be played in. A large salad is prepared and blowing me kisses.

The last Crim rehearsal was valuable, and we won't get much better without an audience. So, exposure to public ridicule is the next step. This makes the performance possible, and real. In a fallen world, reality becomes possible when money exchanges hands. In the real world, performance is sacred. The distance between the two is suffering.

In England this evening, on a blessed riverside plot of Albion overlooking water meadows stretching to the foot of Bredon Hill, the Little Horse has been watching Jurassic Park with her parents on a widescreen tv - a novelty for my In-Laws. God willing, I shall be with them for the last week of August.

The Vicar has made his debut on the DGM Diaries page. I am excited, to a rare extent, as to what will follow --