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Friday, May 3, 2013

APPLE BLOSSOMS AND ANDRE GIDE



 
 
 
It's apple blossom time in the mountains of the central Blue Ridge. Earlier today on the phone with someone I know, I was asked, "When is spring going to get here?" I needed a pause. Didn't quite know what to say. "The apple trees are in blossom, the temperature is 60 every day, the grass is green. I think spring is here." "But it's raining." "Uh, it rains year round." I was thrown. I had forgotten. It had been a long time. A neighbor I forget to love. A voice from another period of my life. Or should I say cycle. I've seen my life in something like seven year cycles. May now be in the final one, so I'm paying attention to it, enjoying it. Writing this every day is one of the aspects of this cycle. The Friday night music at Woodlawn is very much a part of this cycle. The old people I have known, the people who have told me their lives, are dead. The old people now are my peers. We look the same to each other as always; our hair just turned white. I like having white hair a thousand times more than red hair. I liked the transition, though. Dark hair goes through gray on the way to white. Red hair just gets lighter and then it's white. I liked all the shades of getting lighter. Never learned to like the full intensity of firetruck red on my head. You get used to it like you get used to having a big mole on your forehead.
 
 
 
 
I don't think I have a problem paying too much attention to the past, unless it would be through adherence to any tradition, though I don't think I have too much of that. I am hesitant where futurism is concerned. I don't think much about the future except to see something I'd rather not see. I grew up in a church where it was a daily knowing that this may be my last day. I've never been able to plan for the future. I've never known the certainty I'll get there. My only sense of future for myself is I feel like there is time ahead; though, whether there is or not I have no way of foreseeing. Don't want to foresee it. I mean by years. Don't want a psychic to tell me. I like the old way: we live and then we die. I'm questioning now about my living. Am I really living? I think I am. Enjoying reading in the Journals of Andre Gide, a four volume set I acquired one at a time used in good condition. Decided it was time to dive in. I once knew a man who read the Journals when he was about the age I am now, and he said it was one of the great reading experiences of his life. For the beauty of the writing and the quality of the mind doing the writing. Really good writing comes through translation. Yes, it's true the clichés about translations not getting the subtle nuances. I don't care. The story carries through and the quality of the writing carries through too.
 
 
 
 
This is the Eighteen-nineties. Another world, another place, another time, The time of the post-Impressionists in painting. I think of Cezanne and Vuillard in this period of Gide's life. The good writing is a joy to read, no matter what it's saying. Who knows if I'll ever finish the four volumes? I don't care. I'll enjoy reading them a page at a time. Already I'm seeing this is a brilliant mind, somebody in his early twenties who is very well educated, and the education took. I believe I'll enjoy watching the evolving of his thinking, see how it changes, see the people he knows, see through his subjective mind. He has a very interesting mind to flow with. Sit still for awhile, pick up Monsieur Gide and let him tell me a little bit more about what he's observing, thinking, people he's spending time with, his goals, his dreams for himself. I continually forget he's writing what I'm reading in his early Twenties. Already I see he has many levels of understanding, I'm beginning to see him a scholar who writes stories and plays. A very French writer. French like Jean Anouilh, like Mallarme, like Baudelaire, in prose. Somebody's experience in another world from mine.
 
 


The buds on the apple trees were ready to open today, but the sun never came out; it was rainy and damp all day. The buds stayed curled up to save their opening for a sunny day when the bugs will be out looking for flowers to pollinate. No more honey bees. The demise of the bees has been traced to Monsanto. Oh well. Too big to fail. Lobbyists with perks. Goodbye bees. Nothing gets in the way of money for very long. The Corporatocracy is bleeding us of our money, our blood in the flow of the economy, Pop culture is entertaining us with vampires to identify with, people who have had their life blood sucked out of them, and zombies, the living dead, dead from an entirely commercial society, dead from believing money is the only. Our life spirit, our life blood is being drained from us by Corporate rule that targets us for our resources. Oh well. I'm leaving this time we're in, going back to the 1890s in the mind of a young turn-of-the-century French scholar with ambitions to write beautifully. I'll ride with his mind for a while.


 
 
 
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