All posts tagged: Daybook

Confession | edge of evening

Confession

The thing about blogging is that it’s not at all hard to think of things to write about. It’s just a matter of noticing. Going through your days paying attention to the things that give you pause, the things you read that articulate some thought that you hadn’t yet quite formulated, the books you read that you want to press into someone else’s hands immediately. But, as in a fairy story, these bright bits and pieces you collect will turn to dust if you try to save them. (The same with Instagram. It’s just a habit of being aware. Noticing the small things like the way the light falls in certain places only at certain times of the year. Spending the treasure of what you see, not hoarding it for a rainy day.) What is hard though, is writing about a book, even one you’ve loved, weeks or months after you’ve read it. And this is my confession: there have been good books & I haven’t told you about them. This blog hardly has a …

Reflections & intentions

The weather is mild again. The little ones are back at school. The Pip-Pop cried after we’d dropped them off and were walking to town. ‘Popsy go to school too, Mumma. Popsy want school.’ I feel jet-lagged — waking a full three hours earlier than I was by the end of the holidays. Through the loft window the sky is a dazzling turquoise and the clouds — fat and white with heavy gray bases — are racing by. If I think back, without looking, at what I read last year these are the ones I loved: Crossing to Safety, The Lowland, Leaving the Atocha Station, Light Years, A Suitable Boy and Daybook. And for this year I have a few projects in mind. I’d love to read/re-read all of Penelope Fitzgerald & Michael Ondaatje. I’d like to continue with my pencil in my hand, and I want to continue to start & end my days with a poem. T (seven & a half) is leaving me far behind her. At breakfast she told me the …

The capacity to work feeds on itself

My children were at that time six, three and one. Their care came first. Doctors’ appointments, reading to them, rocking the baby to sleep, car pools — all that had to be done, and done as well as I could, before I could turn to myself. Confronted by this situation, I made two major decisions. The first was to invest in myself, as needed, the money I had inherited from my family. I simply poured my capital into my work […] The second major decision was to increase my energy output and use it as wisely and as fully as I could. Again fortunately, during the years from 1948 to 1961 I had formed the habit of working in my studio almost every single day. Rain or shine, eager or dragging my feet, I just plain forced myself to work. This habitual discipline came up under me to support my revved-up schedule. I simply got up early every morning and worked straight through the day in one way or another, either in my household or …

The Woman Upstairs

Nobody would know me from my own description of myself; which is why, when called upon (rarely, I grant) to provide an account, I tailor it, I adapt, I try to provide an outline that can, in some way, correlate to the outline that people understand me to have — that, I suppose, I actually have, at this point. But who I am in my head, very few people really get to see that. Almost none. It’s the most precious gift I can give, to bring her out of hiding. Maybe I’ve learned it’s a mistake to reveal her at all. from ‘The Woman Upstairs’ by Claire Messud It was an unusual luxury to read books so quickly when we were on holiday. To remember what it’s like to be truly gripped by a book & consume it in the way T does, turning page after page until there are none left to turn. I read in the car outside the boulangerie, on the windswept beach, by torch light in the chill darkness of evening. …