Tuesday, 25 February 2003

oh i forgot - i was going to rave about helen garner.

i have just re-read the feel of steel - an excellent 'non-fiction' book, full of the most mind-blowingly spare and beautiful prose. i highly recommend it, as well as her earlier non-fiction book true stories.

i was just talking to bek today about meeting helen garner in a seminar last year at uni and the whole episode being like one of her short stories. for a whole hour i seemed to see the world through her literary eyes; i knew how she would describe her clothes, the colour of the shawl draped across her chair, the manner of the cup on the table in front of her. and even though she didn't hear it, i knew just how she would write about paul hurtling down the corridor towards me, and with a reverently starstruck expression exclaiming, 'she's so small!'

although springing from a great sadness and melancholy and with the distance of many more years than my twenty seven, this bit from a piece called woman in a green mantle struck me. some writers might find it bleak; i find it immensely encouraging:

Sometimes the soul is tested. Nothing I do seems good or beautiful. Everything I think of writing seems trivial, pointless. I compare myself unfavourably with every writer in the world.

Still, I battle away at an essay about reading the Bible. I keep saying to myself, 'OK - simple declarative sentences. Nothing fancy.' It's like exercising a stiff muscle. I've written a page. A page is better than not a page.
there is something to be said about personal space.

and silence.

and sleep.

and there is nothing more unsettling and disruptive than when you can't find any of those things.

i was so stressed and upset and tired on saturday from only having had half an hour's sleep the night before due to brother and brother's girlfriend (yuck and aaarrrrgggg). still awake at 5.30am, i drove to flemington and went to the flower markets, which was probably a good thing as i got three bunches of roses and two bunches of dahlias for $9 and they're still looking gorgeous (long lasting therapy, in other words). but when brother and brother's girlfriend continued to take up space and make noise and shower together and blah blah, i felt the only place for me was far away from them. the blue mountains was about as far as i could go that day. :)

and it was just perfect. exactly what i needed. a very strong coffee and a very sweet chocolate brownie at leura, at the end of the day when all the tourists were long gone. an amble around echo point with my mother. we walked to the viewing platform that usually shows a vast drop over the megalong valley, past the three sisters and rolling greenness as far as the eye can see. an amazing transformation - a beautifully soft blanket of grey. you couldn't see anything but thick shreds of mist moving quickly across the mountains. it felt like standing on the edge of the world, with that strange muffled silence that mist brings, and the cool dampness of it on my face. we walked around the edge of the cliffs and went into the gardens at lilianfels. it is a beautiful, rambling place, full of flowers and greenery and lushness. from certain parts of it you can't see any buildings other than the original house, all wooden gables and wraparound verandah and leadwork glass panels in the doors. you can't hear anything other than the occasional passing car and the comforting sounds of a garden. we sat on a wooden bench for a long while, listening to the birds settling down for the evening, breathing in the cooling air, breathing in the calm quietness.

then a woman walked past, clamouring on her mobile phone, "yar, yar, we're leaving lilianfels now, will you meet us there? yar. yar. okay, yar." and we held our breath until she got into her car and drove away.

but by then it was getting late and we had to go home.

i wish i could have put that garden in my pocket so i could take it out and wrap myself in it whenever i needed to escape.

Saturday, 22 February 2003

those with keen eyesight will have noticed some changes. so now this little corner is called the laundry. yes, i realise the whole thing is looking a little hotch potch (whatever that means) but my head is starting to come off and i know i'll be dreaming in code.

the matrix has me.

speaking of which, this is what i was talking about, heath. extremely well done. for the lesser mortals who don't have access to broadband at home or steal it at work (ahem)...


maybe it'll come out on dvd one day. :)

Wednesday, 12 February 2003

something's wrong with little bec.

i need to go to that place in the emerald city. you know, where they all go to get spruced up to see the wizard, and the scarecrow gets all the old cruddy stuffing taken out and brand new stuffing put in, and the tin man gets all buff(ed), and the lion gets his mane curled and dorothy gets lipstick?

mainly just for the new stuffing thing. my neck and shoulders are not co-operating with the rest of my body and so i am getting terrible headaches. not fun. not fun when the headaches are so bad you can't even go to sleep (and you can't afford to get a massage until next week to remedy the situation).

but enough with the whingeing. how are you?