There’s one apple left on the tree at the bottom of my neighbour’s garden. Each morning I open the blind and peer out of the back window to check that it’s still there. Somehow while it clings on surrounded by yellowing leaves it must still be autumn, not yet winter.
The biscuit turned six months last week on a clear November morning when the first frost was scraped from the car windscreens and the gas supply to our whole street was turned off for the day. Six months since the afternoon we brought her home cocooned in a white Peter Rabbit jacket and lay her on the red bedspread. How could we ever not have known her? May/November: it seems like both forever & just one long amazing moment.
Time is still a big issue. There’s so much more now, but somehow I seem to ‘waste’ it. Not surprisingly, the biscuit is happier watching her mummy busy about in the kitchen than read a book. I’m still not good enough at grabbing the moment, at taking my chances to write, to read, to pause. And still I keep thinking, where has the time gone?
I’ve been reading Francine Prose’s Reading like a writer on and off since the early summer. It’s a brilliant ode to close reading, to paying attention to each word, each sentence, each paragraph. So I’ve been trying to slow down, to pay attention. To notice how it’s done. I’m finding it harder than I’d expected. I start well — making notes, looking up words, reading in small chunks — but then once I become engrossed in the book, which I almost always do, I find myself galloping on, lost in the words. Maybe I should read once for the sheer pleasure of the reading experience and then again for clues as to how it was achieved? Maybe I should read ‘bad’ books, or at least those that don’t interest me. Maybe I should just persevere and learn to balance the slow/fast of reading & life.
There’s an interview with Francine Prose about the book here.