22 July 2013
The morning has started off slowly. With a book, a cup of tea and some crumpets, could I be any more British right now?
I have a pull towards reading today, towards writing and copying. I told Andrew last week that I think I was born in the wrong century. I would make a fantastic scribe. I told Emily yesterday that I’m tired of trying to fit jobs that I’m not good for. I want to focus on strengthening what I do well and hopefully one day someone will hire me for that. I tell a lot of people a lot of things, but when I come to myself I seem to run out of insight quite often.
Imagine the Hotel Lucide, the set for the third act of The Inverted Comma. But in an old farmhouse outside Ithaca, New York, I can’t. It’s March: a skim of frozen mud and dirty snow, and under it an ooze beginning like pure longing. On the desk before me, a photograph of Nabokov and his wife. Be careful now. The mind that will not cease teasing itself means to survive. It is like a discovered check: the elegant divisions lead themselves away, and it has always been there. Mate. Love is the last work, the imagination’s regicide. There are no tricks of perspective on a flat cleared space, except the earth is imperceptibly curved. Like love, the straight line is a visionary parody. It is the cowbird I invent to watch through my streaked study window, my eyes shining above the desk like binoculars of light.
I bought A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart. It just came today. I opened it, expecting to read stories. I forgot that photographs are their own kinds of stories. I don’t have the patience for interpretation today. I’ll be glad that I have the book later. In that moment, though, I was much more grateful for our letters here.