Want to squeeze all the juice out of the Shamrock  Tea bag before I put the book back on the shelf (Shamrock Tea, Ciaran Carson, Granta Press)


“I am reminded, now, of Leonardo’s advice to painters: You should fix your eyes, he says, on certain walls stained with damp. You will see in these the likenesses of divine landscaped, adorned with mountains, ruins, rocks, extensive plains; and you will see there battles and strange figures engaged in violent actions. For in such walls the same thing happens as in the sound of church bells, in whose reverberations you may find every word imaginable.”


[Our December may be an occasion during wihich to live in accident rather than intent…or a chance to move deliberately through a landscape of accident/ruing rather than through a landscape of – our deliberations, which can be delimited – the wall itself, whereas accident allows us to penetrate the wall with poetry… all in silence, all in seeing, with fixed eyes.]


And –


“They are the victims of Sehnsucht, that Germanic yearning for a world beyond the world. I think of the ghostly whisper heard by the protagonist of Schubert’s song, ‘The Wanderer’: There, where you are not, only there is happiness.”


[I guess a note of caution here – the loveliness of self-absenting that can be addled by a desire to be both absent and in command… One wants an absent-self that feels and thinks like oneself… one wants to be one’s own company.]

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