22 – Out of Lockdown

That day the river moved, just a little.

How long had it been? There had been weeks of non-stop rain, weeks of sunshine every day. An equinox and a solstice, certainly. And several full moons. I had unpacked pictures and hung them. And set out my brother’s sculptures on a shelf.Version 2

I had painted two Van Gogh paintings, paint-by-numbers, 25 colours, 5,000 colour cells, “Don’t be intimidated eyeful of lines and colours”, the Instruction Leaflet helpfully counselled. Methodically I had built, colour by colour, over many tranquil hours, a simulacrum of the facture of Vincent’s paintings. They had been painted quickly, urgently, even desperately in the St-Remy Asylum, often in a single session. Each of my simulacra took weeks. And yet they have a surprising vividness and vitality.

Version 2IMG_6879

I had read The Voyage, in which, on p459, “The Voyage Begins”.
One of my planned journeys had been cancelled. And then the second. I was going nowhere.
I had read, “did you ever think that roads are the only things that are endless? They are the serpents of eternity.” But now the serpents had looped back on themselves, were eating their own tails.
I had read A Tour Around my Garden, in which the author, envious of a friend leaving on a grand tour, resolves to make his garden the world, and 58 letters later sees his friend return, “and before I have half finished my tour.”
I had read Journey Around my Room, in which the passage from bed to chair becomes a grand adventure.
I had read Espèces d’espaces, the first word “Space”, and had fallen in and the space had grown around me so that there was only space, large, and myself, small, and all was still and silent.
Then music had entered the silence,

music like water rippling over glimpsed cities, whole realms, like clouds forming and re-forming ever-changing worlds, music entirely itself, that flowed through me, restoring me to myself.
That day the river moved, just a little.

The Voyage,
 by Charles Morgan.
“Serpents of eternity” from Where There is Nothing,  by WB Yeats.
A Tour Around my Garden, by Alphonse Karr.
A Journey Around my Room, by Xavier de Maistre.
Espèces d’espaces, by Georges Perec.
Music: “Biesy” from Esja by Hania Rani.