Glasgow was a gathering of words.
I spent two days listening to how lovers of contemporary music articulate their view of the world, contributing my own mesh of spoken strands and working to make sense of a multitude of strands: priorities, crystallisations and shy suggestions alike.
There was also a delicate bubbling of associations, stories, anecdotes and observations.
Some of these were of a personal nature, linking to the history of a city and it's dwellers.
Glasgow-dwellers carry a collective trauma of a particular building. A building central to Glaswegian life both geographically, philosophically and psychologically. Completely destroyed by a recent fire, it lays dormant encapsulated by a grim cathedral of scaffolding, with beams of rusted steel, mangled by the power of the flames, grimacing out from it's foot on the hill, where lay the roof of a large circus building.
Our gathering passed the ruin on our first night in Glasgow, quietened and disheartened by the silent lingering destruction that had been frozen in situ.
On the following day, we had lunch at the CCA gallery just across the ruin, and while visiting the gallery spaces, one of the rooms' windows where giving towards the towering scaffolding.
In grey overcast daylight, the members of our gathering shared their stories of the ruin in turn. How there was a lingering smell of wet ash on the following morning, the reason of which became slowly apparent as the news of the fire reached the comuting readers on tablets and smartphone screens.
The smoke that was a single tower, visible for miles.
Someone found solace in that the building is excellently documented. There is a digital blueprint of the entire edifice and all of its intricate innards.
The art community in Glasgow and worldwide, while engaging in mourning of their beloved alma mater, their landmark, their pride, engage simultaneously in creative remembering. Not a regret of what could have been, but an immaterial trace, an enhanced memory, a fan-fiction.
The human building is foremost a memory palace, that has always had it's most urgent form of existence in its relationship with humans. In the memory of humans.
In the words of a poet building on the experience of a composer: a composition is the tending to a ruin.
Watering the moss that grows on it.
Covering the steel buttresses with a weather-resistant paint.
Being inside it unafraid of the falling weathered sand-stone.
Seeing a cathedral in the scaffolding.