How Big Is An Eye, To Hold All That
10 May 2011
Looking around, I notice a few facts. We are no longer cruising ((boat is moored, we are living on land), I’m putting fewer posts on the blog these days, and there are fewer reader comments (understandable!) – the thing is hibernating, maybe, or in “winter recess”, say.
So, while I used to joke there were only two of you out there, reading this, and I was assured that, no, there were more – it feels that way again. No matter, I only need one, and that one can be imaginary! To give is to receive.
So to you, dear friend, I address this - we have become close friends over the years, comfortable with each other, able to enjoy long silences in our conversation. Also we’re able to talk about practical issues and things that are “within” – mind facts. But after all, aren’t these the same? When you clean house, your mind feels more ordered.
Taking it slowly today … I want to say that when you are living in someone else’s house while they are away you find yourself in an intriguing situation: your habits, your patterns, your little tracks don’t work. You stop. So it is this morning, in South Hobart, with the hang-glider’s view of the Derwent valley, the river, the hills, the settlement of houses accruing since the penal colony days, the clouds (soft, yet strident) – the whole visual gift, with the yellowing trees and the fine air, you stop, and enjoy. Here I am. I am an eye, a painter’s eye. And I realize that some of the best writing I’ve done on the blog has been that arising from the exultation of things seen, of the visual, chemically changed, becoming naturally inebriated, poetical, life-of-their-own - words.
I wanted to paint it – the sun and its hard reflection off the river like holes in the tin roof of a shed, the rest of it seen in the dim light of the shed’s interior. I found myself instead making a word-picture, something like this:
I see …
the rectitude of chimneys. The wanton spontaneity of smoke. The flapping roofs. Jostle of houses. Trees squirting between them. I see … Doorways concealed windows revealed. Hopeful (and disappointed) television antennas. A billiard-table playing field, green as spring, flat as a board, empty as a broken heart. Builders’ dreams rooted to the spot. The spill of houses, origami-folded, anchored, fixed, pile-driven into the sub earth’s reality while the hills and trees writhed and roiled in ceaseless, joyous motion. I see … a bridged river, beyond. And overhead, a sky striped like an awning, mighty as an orchestra, and as gentle as a soul.