Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com rockpool in the kitchen

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Creation Date: Tue Apr 27, 12:00:14 PM

Try again; yesterday I wrote this offline - broadband not yet available in rural Canaries, or at least Telefonica is not turning up to sort it out - in attempting to go back on line to edit and publish it, lost the whole thing.

A west wind today; predictable pattern for this - early it's clear, as sun rises it picks up moisture from sea which condenses into heavy cloud - there's even a drop or two of rain; the sun rising higher burns it off and now there's sun and cloud mixed. It's warmer. No sign of trade winds yet, for which thanks. Wonder whether weird weather of winter and spring will continue, disrupting usual patterns. The flowers are miraculous, carpets of purple, white, yellow all over. I've seen three different kinds of grass - one like wild oats, one barley ditto. Over in the fields now I can see a man with a yellow canister on his back spraying his vines. Organic here we are not.

Beloved and painter off fishing again; ructions of past few days are smoothed over; beloved wound up about family matters which does tend to explode in my direction. Family matters relate to - well let's say he's a Mr Rochester, though I'm a little old I think to be Jane Eyre. Also I don't think the woman in the attic had an obstructive not to say slightly vengeful brother; but that's another story. Ructions between Beloved and me tend to home in on our home in our different modes of being and thinking - his logical, scientific, mine intuitive, literary. Different planets, let alone different epistemes - to use the fancy word. Actually that what's interesting, given that as characters we are pretty alike. Painter listened in amazement one night last week over argument which sums it up. I'd told the story of a dying woman in rural New Zealand, a farmer's wife, who'd barely been as far as Auckland and to whom I'd been talking about Australia, it's immense distances, it's conversely crowded cities. Looking across at her husband's grazing stock, towards the bush-covered ridge which bounded her world, she said: "I can't imagine crowds. I can't imagine distance." A statement which haunted and continues to haunt me. Painter understood this at once and nodded. Beloved said: "but New Zealand's not that small - what did she mean, she couldn't imagine distance?" I tried and failed to explain the symbolic, metaphorical implications. He couldn't see it. It's always like this, though in his own field he's the cleverest person I've ever met, almost a genius. My ignorance, lack of understanding in his world baffles him equally.

He also regards most fiction - ie about emotions, relationships - as concerning what he calls 'the commonplace; cliches.' Hard to explain that if you took the simple plots of Shakespeare, say, it comes to much the same... he's not interested in narrative, only in finding out things he doesn't know (ie he knows, he thinks, all about human emotional interactions...) He likes documentaries, films, plays, around issues, places, histories. Two nights ago we tried to watch a film, a small precise, lovely film called 'You can count on me', about a single mother and her brother. He watched half an hour of this, muttering about cliches etc, finally went off in a huff that I could want to watch such stuff myself, let alone inflict it on him. I had difficulty in stopping him getting into the truck and driving off in the dark, full of liquor to his other house for the night. Succeeded; but still have difficulty in persuading him that this view of fiction in any media totally rubbishes what I spend my life doing, trying to make new fresh sense of little - but immense - human lives and feelings. All the odder with him stuck in such a big human drama as he has been for years. And which is the reason, of course - as I realised then - that he was feeling so touchy.

A lovely, not to say beloved man. I sort him. But oh dear......

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