The train window could benefit from a quick shower, a sponge and some minimal attention. Yet, even now, through the glass, I can see the forest, the remaining white islands in the shades and the bend ahead with its southbound track.
I am on my way back to the city on the plain, just by the “blue mountains”, where I spent the first half of my twenties. A city, a country, almost entirely deprived of the imaginative energy which keeps me breathing. Deprived of those simple things (maybe just the pattern of sunlight on a building) which nonetheless keep me there, dreaming. Mist in the Bay Area, Lantau Island or inner journeys yet to be undertaken.
Aesthetics. So long did I think that it would suffice, alone heal what is broken by offering presence and simplicity. So many illusive shortcuts to romantic bliss.
In the book I am reading, a mid-aged woman sells her Stockholm apartment and buys a house in Finistére, fin des terres, where the land ends in Europe. At least from a French perspective. A book in which every word is chosen, not a single syllable is there on a whim. That alone has an appeal on me. I know how it is to struggle with words, especially when you leave your mother tongue. I try to write poetry in English and find that the roads I can travel are few. At best, each linguistic junction offers two different directions.
The author writes on gardening, Madame C and theodicy. On the latter it may be that I am still suffering from an overdose Dostoevsky taken at a young age. But. I cannot see why a world of suffering is incompatible with a compassionate God. Rather the opposite. What would a world look like in which humans were compelled to the good? What would love be worth if your loved ones were forced to love you? Only if given the choice to do otherwise do our actions gain an ethical meaning.
Yet, after Auschwitz, the killing fields of Cambodia and Sebrenica have we come to realise exactly what freedom it is that has been bestowed on us.