For more than a week now there's been an intermittent problem with Blogger - only possible to post with the old post editor that doesn't allow images any larger than this. This leaves me deeply aggrieved and I realise that I've grown used to and satisfied by the larger images, that they serve some kind of purpose for me, a therapeutic externalisation of something. The detail from Velazquez's The Waterseller of Seville features in a new book by one of my very favourite writers, Tim Parks. Teach us to Sit Still is the account by this immensely talented, versatile and prolific novelist, essayist, critic, translator of how he slowly recovered from chronic pain through learning to be quiet, be still and reinhabit his body. The text is interspersed with images - photographs, drawings, illustrations from medical textbooks and websites, reproductions of paintings. In a frontispiece note, the author writes:
"Over the period when I wasn't well, and again when I was writing this book, I found myself spending more and more time looking at images. It began with a need for clarity, the desire to see my physicial problem represented, but more and more the contemplation of images of any kind... seemed to offer relief from the language-driven anxieties inside my head."