14 May, 2021 9:23 AM On the front porch for a breath of fresh and then back inside to do my thing for a while. I loved translating Gabriel Garcia Márquez for class yesterday. I described it to someone as the experience of getting to work with 500 thread count fine cotton sheets…the drape, the simplicity, sweep, density…and then to try and do something similar with English—oh, that is a beautiful challenge. Listening to language on the page is not unlike listening aloud. In both cases, you listen, you internalize, the textures and nuances, the curves, the specificity, and also what is left behind— the traces, the feeling, the sounds left hovering. And then you use all of that to sculpt something new in another language… Sigh… Marvellous stuff, words and languages. Thank you for both—and for ink and paper, keyboard and screen, and quiet and tulips and the wee-bitty ‘tree-lets’ growing in the planter at the top of the stairs here.
15 May, 2021 9:53 AM On a bench—okay, on The Bench, the usual bench, in the Public Gardens—coffee and an oatcake beside me. When the wind blows in one direction, I catch an indecipherable murmur of human conversation between those walking in pairs or sitting on the benches by the bandstand. When it comes from the other direction, it’s the crows and the gulls exercising their avian right to filibuster. The light this morning is spectacular. It’s So Bright and leaves things so crisp as to almost be too much—without ever actually turning that corner. I love it when there is grey light too—rain light—and how it highlights colours by cradling them like jewels on a velvet cushion or cloth. Today, though…this light…it shines through the colours, drawing attention to that which is within, to the see-through overlap of petal on petal, to the shadow-shapes on the gravel paths made by flower cones emerging on the ruby chestnut and the trees aglow with spring green halos. Even the chittery Morse code telegrams being sent by the grackle at the junction of paths on my left glint like bits of burnished metal when they meet with the air and the light of this beautiful morning.
Thank you for this day and this gentle time. Funny, maybe, but as I sit here writing, I’m thinking about the person who says—Why save the good dishes for fancy meals? I’d say—Carry the good pen in your bag…use it, and use the nice ink that you like…no matter if you are describing your surroundings or composing your magnum opus. The line between the two is negligible and the reactions of anyone who might read either can not be divined.