Friday, May 3, 2013

island diary, revisited: for every current

(this is from a previous island diary, revisited)

for every current 
Tuesday, 22nd April 2008

the full moon was up in the sky last night, shining between palm trees, luminous and grand. next to it, stars. and bats that hunt, so skillfull in their flight. it seems the weather has stabilized now, the rain clouds left, the wind first strong, then calming down.

the temperatures are rising. and i just looked through all the photos i have taken so far - from the bay here, and from the drives. the one above is from Cap Formentor.

the days have a different rhythm now, and are coming with little encounters. yesterday, i spent the day reading, lazing at the beach, musing – feeling the day is like a gift. it's so good to have this time off, this island time. even though a part of me longs for home, for the flowers, for writing. but then, i know that at home, a part of me will long for here. and it's nice to feel this, this longing for home, and longing for other skies. it's the sum of those two feelings that make every place more precious. imagine to not long for home.

later, back from the beach, i read, and came across this line that seemed to wrap this feeling up:

„For every current, there's a counter-current“

that's a line from the gulf stream book (by E. Ornesso), and i felt, it's true for all life. also it made me think that some days have this flow, and some day not so much – even if you try.

and now, Tuesday. it's sunny outside. i just went for a little morning walk, past the pond with the ducks, and the orange flowers. now it's yoga time. then buffet breakfast.. and later, reading – another title from the hotel book shelf, this shelf that comes with a lot of expectable romance and crime, but in between, holds some real stunning surprises. like the penguin classic edition of D.H.Lawrence's „Lady Chatterly's Lover“. with a foreword by Doris Lessing (that's what made me pick it, as i found a Doris Lessing in the last hotel's book shelf - Crete was that, half a year ago. And the book: „The good terrorist“...)

but back to the now… here are the opening lines of Lawrence, which made me feel like they also could have been written for all the tragedies of our world in these days :

„Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The catalysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.“

the book is a surprise read, taking one back in this time that seems so far away now – Lawrence wrote the book 10 years after the first world war. the introduction of Doris Lessing is precious, providing a good way into the understanding of the setting and the narrative, and of Lawrence as an author. this is what she says:

„Lady Chatterly's Lover is a hymn to the flesh, to love. Yet reading this novel many years later, the great sex scenes have lost their power. We have had a sexual revolution. Some of the lyrical passages still thrill young women. In parts of the world where women are not free, may be stoned to death or publicly hanged for adultery (Iran 2004), this novel is being read as Lawrence wanted it read: as a manifesto for sex, for love. We have all experienced reading a book and then on re-reading perhaps years later, finding something completely different: Now I think this is one of the most powerful anti-war novels ever written. How was it I had not seen that, when I first read it?
„And dimly she realised one of the great laws of the human soul: that when the emotional soul receives a wounding shock, which does not kill the body, the soul seems to recover as the body recovers. But this is only appearance. It is, really, only the mechanism of re-assumed habit. Slowly, slowly, the wound to the soul begins to make iself felt. And when we think we have recovered and forgotten, it is then that the terrible aftereffects have to encountered at their worst.“

How could I have missed that? But I hadn't. I remember reading it and thinking – Yes, that's my father (and it was my mother, too, but I was years off seing that.) And now we are beginning to recognize how many men and women survive wars apparently intact, but inside they are bruised and may never recover. Millions of them, everywhere.“

 which made me think of the present. of the political turmoil that is dominating the Middle East, with people who are stuck, or are fleeing, with no ocean bay to go to, to linger for a while.

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