Sunday, 14 August 2011

June, July, August

Three months of summer have almost passed by, our worlds spinning, colliding, transforming. Nothing ever stays the same. Everything is moving. We've organised a funeral, grieved the loss of a close one and spent nights dreaming, quietly of death; long lost relatives and friends haunting sleeping hours, a kindly reminder of our ephemeral journey, our brief blink of time on this turning earth. Cruel nature. I listen to PJ Harvey let england shake on boats, London tube trains and in our van. I smile, shed a tear and sing along. At the side of the road is a chateau, with a For Rent sign à louer.

We escape the grief and drive down South, the little one gets freckles on her pale white nose, whilst the elder turns a sophisticated brown. We admire graffiti walls and flowers in Saintes.

We swim.

The water heals our bodies and minds. Wet, soothing, fingers and toes slice through turquoise matter; in structured swimming pools and free form lakes.

I work on the revisions to my manuscript - a little - I long to write on this blog, imagine posts and telling stories, things described in verbs and nouns, black and white attempts to capture an existence. I want to write about the thesaurus, old friends, death and healing; the utter unpredictability of life. Instead, I wash and fold clothes in the forest heat, wipe ice cream from noses and wander. I love this slowed down summer time, when tasks are unsqueezed from between writing, my hospital work, lecturing, school. Days breathe slowly, unhurried; in and out from the diaphram. Breathing deep from the belly. Folding clean clothes is a pretty life in clover.

We travel through the Spanish mountains in the Valle d'Aran, visit medieval villages with Roman walls built into Christian Churches (the stuff of ley lines and palimpsests), share food with old friends, sing songs about Eskimos and ask "Is that Brian Eno?". We eat menu del dia, with red wine served in pottery jugs, have garlic soup, catalan tomato bread and patatas bravas, café con leche and want churros with hot chocolate, but never quite find the time. Next year. Last night we watched a documentary made by Banksy about street art, ephemeral stuff, made in moonlight, guerilla-style, in your face, ART. The film also explores the trash/cash flip side of the art world, is Thierry really an artist or did Banksy make him up?

This from my collection of station graffiti. Pictures taken from trains in June. Little grubby urban hideouts were viewed through carriage windows at the start of these three moving months. June, July, August 2011; months of boats, vans and swims, the tumbling revolutions of life and death. But, that story is for another day...