Sunday, 2 December 2012


It's been one of those days that, now that it is nearly over, I am hard pressed to describe, hours that have blended into each other in the most extraordinary way to make a whole Sunday... Some outdoor work (raking leaves that have fallen from the micocoulier tree that resides by the house and covers the terrace with its leaves... taking these leaves down to the fruit trees to spread around the base of their trunks to keep them warm over the coming winter), some sorting of papers, some reading of manuscripts sent by email in the Humber School for Writers' correspondence program (even though I keep saying I don't work on weekends), a long SKYPE call with a friend in Hobart, Tasmania, and making vegetable soup that will see me through the week... and what else? Somehow, the day fills itself, and I find myself finally at the end of it sitting by the fire, watching the embers glow, listening again to Miles Davis (KIND OF BLUE) and yes, feeling a little blue. As it happens, I was listening to this CD exactly a year ago -- you ask how can I recall? strange but true -- and the 12 months since then have utterly collapsed, just as today has done.

Blue, yes, but not so blue that I am not rejoicing in the memory of last weekend in Marseille, where there was so much stimulation for all my senses, and where I came across an inscription -- carved in stone across the portico of the restored Opera House -- that has taken up residence in my head ever since. Something to think about -- and I offer it to you, dear reader... Here it is in its original French, and then with my (no doubt imperfect) translation.... (remember, I do not have the capacity to add accents on this blog, at least not until Amanda, my friend from TEAPOTES who helps me with this blog, shows me how).

L'art recoit la beaute d'Aphrodite, le rhythme d'Apollon, l'equilibre de Pallas et doit a Dioynsius le mouvement et la vie.
Art receives its beauty from Aphrodite, its rhythm from Apollo, its order & balance from Athena and to Dionysius, it owes its movement and its life.
Good writing -- perfect art -- requires all of the above, doesn't it?  And it should be delicious, in some way too... no?

Life is not a bowl of cherries