A Few Catch Up Words

roses

garden

Wow, what a week I had, I'm glad I took a break. I have a lot of catching up to do, and here are a few catch up words of my own ...

: : A copy of The Australian Ballet's completed Elegy program was placed in my hands this week, which happens to feature an article by me. It's truly one of the most visually beautiful and artistically compiled programs I've ever come across, I'm so proud to have my words within it:

elegy program

: : Ever since Anabela mentioned my blog here, I've been meaning to pay it forward. Blogs that are more wordy and writerly tend to get sidelined in comparison with blogs dominated by images, so I wanted to return the compliment by introducing you to some of my favourite wordy, writerly and thought-provoking blogs, such as Dada Doesn't Catch Flies, Fluid Imaginings, The Penguin Blog, Spike, Siberian Ginseng, Shake and Tumble, La Vie en Bleu, Groteskology, Coffee and Pie, Field Notes from Fairy Land and Overland Literary Journal Blog. What I like about these blogs is that they make me think, step away from myself, and consider different perspectives and ideas. Not to be all preachy, but I think blogs shouldn't just be about consuming pretty images, but also about consuming thought. But then again, I have nothing against pretty images.

: : I've been spending the past week mulling over the truth of these words:

Spending the evening in candlelight, and maybe by the fire, with no TV, talking, telling stories, letting the lit-up world go by without us, expands the hours, and alters the kind of thoughts and conversations we have.

I have noticed that when all the lights are on, people tend to talk about what they are doing- their outer lives. Sitting round in candlelight or firelight, people start to talk about how they are feeling – their inner lives. They speak subjectively, they argue less, there are longer pauses.

To sit alone without any electric light is curiously creative. I have my best ideas at dawn or at nightfall, but not if I switch on the lights – then I start thinking about projects, deadlines, demands, and the shadows and shapes of the house become objects, not suggestions, things that need to be done, not a background to thought.


-Jeanette Winterson, "Why I Adore the Night", published in The Guardian on Saturday 31 October, 2009.

: : And more importantly, I've been endlessly comforted by poems over the past week. This poem stood out:


'The Camera Obscura' by John Addington Symonds (1840-1893)

Inside the skull the wakeful brain,
Attuned at birth to joy and pain,
Dwells for a lifetime; even as one
Who in a closed tower sees the sun
Cast faint-hued shadows, dim or clear,
Upon the darkened disc: now near,
Now far, they flit; while he, within,
Surveys the world he may not win:
Whate'er he sees, he notes; for nought
Escapes the net of living thought;
And what he notes, he tells again
To last and build the brains of men.
Shades are we; and of shades we weave
A trifling pleasant make-believe;
Then pass into the shadowy night,
Where formless shades blindfold the light.

(1880)

Why did this particular poem resonate with me? Who knows, it just did. But reading it over and over again, late at night, in a bed filled with piles of other books and poems, it stood out like a little beacon. I don't really question why something moves me anymore, I'm just curious about the process of how certain words attach themselves to our consciousness at certain moments in our lives.

But tell me, what have you been up to?