Saturday, 6 November 2010

Thinking of Pompey . . .

Good evening everyone, do come in and make yourself comfortable . . .

He begins to read:

"The November rain pelts against the library windows; the fire crackles and spits in the grate; shadows dance at the periphery of the room and of our vision, summoning other people and different times to our memory . . . we have been here before, us souls, we fools, gathered together in this place, with the proof of our knowledge around us, mocking us from the shadowed, hallowed walls.

We are all ghosts at our own feasts; spectres spectating and speculating on the outcome of lives less lived than lost in listlessness; we watch ourselves go through the motions, the dance of deliverance, from birth to death and, who knows, maybe back again.  Come; let me take your hand and let us together wend our way into the warp and weave of this tattered tapestry of tribulations we call Life."

And as he reads he sees the words begin to shift; they twist and merge like tiny black snakes, writhing writing, drowning in his eyes which are slowly moistening and filling with tears.  He stops and looks around.  The room is empty; the windows rain-beaten blind eyes into the night; the fire a cold grave of fractured, tinkling charcoal.  The book in his hands has gone; only the hands remain, filling slowly with years of tears.

I do seem rather fond of the library wouldn't you say? Perhaps overly so . . . it does reflect, though not in a physical sense, where I write.  The spirit to write is ever stronger but the fleshing out of the actual words is weak!  I have decided not to continue with the 'novel in a month' activity but to allow the work I was doing to develop and become itself a little more, rather than force it like rhubarb!

I have had rather a bad day for a number of tediousnesses that need not overly concern you and shall retire now with tea and a book - my constant companions - and wait for waves of sleep to swallow me whole. And, with those last words, came  into my head a very famous poem by Stevie Smith - whose first book "Novel on Yellow Paper" is well worth a read  - which I now reproduce for you . . .

Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

It is so utterly simple and beautiful . . . I can't decide if it inspires me or makes me want to give it all up!

Anyhow, I hope you have a lovely restful sleep and that tomorrow the sun is shining for us all.

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

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