Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Riposte (re-post)



Sigh. As soon as I'd written the previous post, and even more when I read the lovely comments, I was overwhelmed by how much I love blogging and bloggers and don't want to stop being part of this community.

I want to write. I want to take photographs. After a distinct dry, tired period when I couldn't focus, literally or metaphorically, I took a few the other day that looked like something - and it felt good.

And then, I want to write that I saw a film of low-key near-perfection, 35 Shots of Rum, directed by Claire Denis, about an African train driver and his student daughter in the shabby Paris suburbs - laconically exquisite, wise and beautiful, a bitter-sweet 'slice of life' in the most deceptively simple and complex way.

I want to write that for two or three weeks I chanced to revel in exceptionally fine reading matter. Molly Fox's Birthday by Diedre Madden (spot-on review by Litlove. I cannot put it better). Illuminations by Eva Hoffman, a much less perfectly satisfying novel - she's a veteran and terrific writer, but not usually of fiction - but exciting, important, tackling difficult, shocking themes of life today in a deeply personal way, and along the way the most stunning writing about playing and listening to music that I remember reading. And lastly, clearing out my office (yegods, it had not been cleared for a dozen years and took a solid week!), I disinterred my copy of Siri Hustvedt's Sorrows of an American and that night began reading it for the third time. Each time a greater pleasure than the one before, such a deep and subtle novel - one of a kind.

I want to write of how Marja-Leena's recent mention of it sent me hot-foot to the National Gallery to gaze at the Lake Keitele by Finnish painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela. When I got there, I'd forgotten the artist's name and thought I might have to search for a while, but the strong, clear, cold Northern light drew me from across the adjoining room. That this powerful work dates from 1905 disturbs many preconceptions.

I miss, oh I miss, having somewhere to ramble on about such stuff. I need it. But I must find a way to do this that doesn't collude with my spinning in unproductive circles. Although I crave words, better to avoid words, avoid thinking, if words and thoughts are always being sucked down the plughole of self-enclosure, self-pity. So I'm giving it some thought (ha) and hoping to find a direction soon.

15 comments:

Pica said...

So glad to have you here, Jean.

(I'm spinning too but what I'm spinning is delighting me so much I can hardly stand it...)

liliannattel said...

In the meantime I much enjoyed reading this post. Thank you.

marja-leena said...

If this is the kind of writing and photography you do when you are spinning, Jean, then please keep on doing it, I love it. Ramble on!

And I'm so very pleased that you went to see Lake Keitele and liked it so much.

litlove said...

It's really lovely to have you back. The blogworld is poorer without your questing mind and the extraordinary perspectives encapsulated in your photos.

Dale said...

I wonder if this is an occasion for the mantra, "no way out but through"? Sometimes when I think I have to stop doing something what I really need to do is crank it up and do it even more until something gives.

In any case it gives me so much pleasure to hear your voice again!

maria said...

Glad to see you are back! I like what Dale said about "no way but through," and I hope that will work for you, because it is always a pleasure to stop here and feast the eyes on the pictures and the wonderful world the words create.

Linda S. Socha said...

Jean
I see that months later I still appreciate and relate to your work. Glad to see you here. I love the energy.
Linda

Jennifer said...

I hope you come to the conclusion that emptying these thoughts here might free up room for more productive, happy things. Because, speaking selfishly, I do so enjoy reading your jottings.

Zhoen said...

Sending you over to Lucy for this one.

http://box-elder.blogspot.com/2009/08/apology-for-bloggery-warning-its-long.html

Natalie said...

What Dale said.

Spin, spin!

So glad that both you and Patteran Dick decided that bowing out wasn't as good as keeping the show going. The show must go on, as long as we're still alive, and even after that.

XXX

Rosie said...

aw keep going, we need rhubarb gardens too...

Lucy said...

Hooray! (and thanks Z!)

Your reviews are always wonderful.

Dick said...

I am (as the current phrase has it) in the same place as you, Jean. But we've both got so much from being here, let's both stay in place. For the time being, anyway...

20th Century Woman said...

Please stick around. I just got here. I'm sorry it took me so long.

Daisy-Winifred said...

I wish you gentle exploration in finding a directio that gives you sunlight to see by, comfortable breeze to accompany you and hearts that express their connection with yours in a smile or a comment:0)