Tristesse and Two Train Journeys

Even this is hard to do, to sit down and write when I want to close my eyes and go to sleep, a mid-morning nap after not enough hours in bed. I got back from Cardiff yesterday. After a weekend with my new man, I need time to get back into my life here, which is not a life that I particularly feel pleased about. Being away was a reminder of what I like most – writing, reading, being in nature. We cycled the 6 or so miles to Castle Coch, a beautiful route along the river Taff, the two of us mainly singing – old Carpenters songs, some Nat King Cole, songs that are triggered by a word in our conversation – talking every now and again about childhood memories, trying to find things in common, to excite each other with stories.

A few hours later. Couldn’t resist taking a nap – a deep sleep that kept me until about 2pm. I just want to lounge in bed, let me mind wander in and out of dreams, allow for connections to be made. I like that time; it’s when stories shoot up out of the soil, their first contact with the light. The train journeys to and from Cardiff were a bit like that, the carriages quite empty, and the inspiration of knowing someone will meet me at the other side. I wrote well both ways. On the way back started reading John Berger’s And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos. Just the right book for my book. He talks about painting as being about making continually present what is soon to be absent. I think that’s what excites me the most about still life paintings, the deep knowing that these oranges, these walnuts, this membrillo, no longer exists. The apples have been eaten or they’re vrot or they’ve decomposed into nothing. The same with people. It’s more exciting than a photo for being about choice, less about randomness or chance. I’m not a great fan of landscapes.

Now I’m hungry.

In Cardiff, my man and I read to each other from Bonjour Tristesse. Her prose is so beautiful, and I can see how Christopher Coe might have been influenced from her – I can hear her in the opening page or two of Such Times. Lying on the bed together, reading alternate pages, we soothed each other into sleep – or at least that was the plan. I was restless and feeling confined and I had a deep ache to be fucked. That soothed me into sleep. Sometimes it is the only way to let go – fucking and sleeping – to not be in control or think you have to be. To not have to be concerned about other peoples’ needs and pleasure.

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