Friday, February 9, 2007

Il n'y a point do heros pour son valet de chambre. Madame Cornuel

Go on, Google it. It won't kill you. First one to post the meaning as a comment wins a Kinder Egg. Straight up.

Let No Man Scare You, by Mark Jenkins (2006)
He does some great street installations, which you should check out at his website. Now.

Casabianca by Elizabeth Bishop

Love's the boy stood on the burning deck
trying to recite "The boy stood on
the burning deck." Love's the son
stood stammering elocution
while the poor ship in flames went down.

Love's the obstinate boy, the ship,
even the swimming sailors, who
would like a schoolroom platform, too,
or an excuse to stay
on deck. And love's the burning boy.

A rainy afternoon in an empty office can give rise to the best conversations.

Miss Sally and I passed an hour in the Ministry on Friday pinning down the nature of love, or trying to. Do we choose with whom we fall in love? Are we destined to repeat that first relationship (or the absence of it) that we learned from our parents, guardians or other places of early influence? And can we change who we love, over time, if we start to realize the choices we have made are harmful to us?

They are simplified questions, I suppose, in lots of ways, which is paradoxical, as perhaps love should never be separated from the peculiarity of its circumstance; becomes meaningless when you reduce (or elevate) it to an abstract. And of course, we came to no conclusions, though I think we both learnt a lot more about each other than we knew previously.

I know I will never tire, for instance, of hearing about Sally's mother, just as I never tire of hearing about Violet, my (it's a long story, but technically, great) grandmother. But then again, maybe the stories exchanged in an afternoon in the deserted Ministry - civil servants, it would seem, do not need the Pompey Chimes to know when it's four o'clock on a Friday - were all about the same thing. There is not a great leap from love to family in the end - whether it's the one you were born into, the one you choose, or, if you're damn lucky, even both.

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