22.03, Sunday 4 Mar 2001

I've spoken before about the arcs, loops and knots that life describes. I've spent a happy day squeezing under park benches to catch my lifeline on something solid, so the knot can't tighten, so that loop can't close, so that period of my life can't be forgotten.

Once a month I buy a tube season ticket. I take the train to Bournemouth (and back) every other weekend. Five days out of seven my alarmclock starts its nuclear klaxon at 7am. A birthday once a year (once a year feeling older, feeling underfulfilled, feeling restrospective, nostalgic). Once a month, another month going out with Es, tick tick tick, we move on, and even the rhythmic ticks are loops, spirals getting higher and higher. My life is loops within loops within loops, helices in spacetime.

I graduated this weekend, and my four years at university - the absence from which until now had just felt like an extended holiday - was most definitely over. The loop closed as I sat down in the theatre. Bow once, make a figure 8. Bow twice, over under over under. Bow a third time, round and under. Out the hall, change the gown, walk back in, bow for the final time to the Vice Chancellor and the knot tightens, the loop shrinks to zero, and there it is, this chunk of my life, over. Snagged on a park bench, almost completely gone apart from that, but over.

And so the loops continue. My great arc arcs on as arcs do. The cogs keep turning, the cycles keep cycling. But I feel as though this is Ptolemic. What if it's all just a matter of perspective? And in looking for where to stand to see my true orbit, my path, I have a horrible suspicion that I'm searching for meaning where there is none. And just that I'm doing that can't be good at all.

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