Sunday, August 08, 2010

On the Loss of Familiarity

M called and is bringing tacos. As I sit waiting for breakfast and coffee, the fog is slowly clearing. This morning is one of few that will never quite be reproduced in familiar form. These summer weeks that I have lived year after year, hoping for some form of change, sometimes wistfully, at other vociferously, are apparently going to change. My home will be different, my routes strange, and my acquaintances sparse. I will no longer be able to walk into a coffee shop and find O or V or C or even one of those vaguely known faces that I smile at but cannot put an initial to; I will no longer be a well-trod footstep.

This is a loss. It is minor. But in a world of catastrophes that are so large that they only have minor impact, the minor losses are hard. Not very much so, but slightly difficult to comprehend and it is their minor incomprehensibility that bothers and pinches. Like a stone in my shoe.

So this morning, in a bid to banish what is after all, a small, niggling pain, I will have tacos. And listen to Kishore Kumar. And type a blog post. I will gather into my consciousness a few, familiar, markers that will travel with me. Food, music, words. In a life mostly ordinary, this is all one can do. And it is enough.

Pierre August-Renoir
Gypsy Girl
Oil on canvas
73 x 54 cm
Private collection, Canada

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Abstractions for a moody night

I have many things to say. But I'd rather make up stuff instead. Or pretend to be wise. Or write in choppy sentences. So here are many random things, just for you. Make of them what you will. Perhaps with a few drops of moonshine.

- A moment interpreted does not a teleology make

- I wish I could swim calmly without splashing around so much

- There are surprises around the corner and you will find them if you stop steeling yourself so much against any such possibility

- Truffles are good at room temperature

- Sometimes one finds the words just like one chooses food in a restaurant. In exactitude.

- My advisor said to me; "You write very well; but sometimes I find myself scratching my head thinking what exactly does she mean?"

- This moment is filled with descriptions of a thousand pages. This is how it is sometimes. And those thousand pages will not be written. This is how it is all the time.

- Should I write a book called "Notes on Love in a Foreign Country" ?

Where should we go now?

Paul Delvaux (Belgian, 1897–1994)
Small Train Station at Night, 1959
Oil on canvas; 55 1/4 x 67 in. (140.3 x 170.2 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York