Things are starting to melt. Today when I went out I saw the snake-like piles of dirty ice and snow lining either side of otherwise clear pavements. The weather forecast tells me to expect more sleet and snow flurries, but I don’t think they’ll stick. Something has shifted, at least for now. My Canadian radar tells me so.
My thoughts tug along with the lazy rhythm of Cormac McCarthy’s writing. The audio book of The Road has been playing over the weekend while I have cleaned and cooked, and even when I turn it off I can hear the voice of narrator Tom Stechschulte, his long slow drawl and the words “it’ll be okay. Everything is okay.”
My favourite thing about the book are how the man and his son manage to find things among the desolation. The world around them gives every indication that all that was meant to be found has been found, and yet sometimes they get lucky. Sometimes they find things that had been overlooked by someone else.
I think creativity is kind of like that. It is easy to sink into a sense of despair, thinking about the long line of artists and writers who have come before. You hear the old voice in your head, telling you it’s been done before. It has all been done before. Yet we keep sifting through ideas and memories, pulling out thoughts and images, stringing together words we are convinced have never stood in just that domino line before.
Earlier in the week I watched a BBC programme about the long ago kingdom of Nubia. And I wonder how we can be so very old and yet still so new, blundering around in the haze of our experience until the shock of our individual deaths meets us before we are ready. Maybe we’re the dominos, snatching at the world as we are born and begin immediately to fall, knocking over our beloved neighbour on the way down. Without meaning to. It just happens.
Right now I am surrounded by gentle comforts. A pot of vegetable soup bubbles on the stove. A large tray of still-warm apple and pear crumble sits on the counter. Everywhere in this room are the scents of basil, onion, oregano, garlic, apricot jam, toasted oats and walnuts, cinnamon. The long-dead spice race has been shaken from a small glass container that lives in my cupboard, and brought to life again against the hot flesh of peeled fruit.
It has been a good day.
The hill at Snurrom
20 hours ago