Friday 15 February 2008

Day One

The name of this blog comes from a dream and from a song,

Under my window
there is an almond tree
with flowers
as white as paper...

A writer writing is like an almond tree flowering.

Watched the podcast on Maxine Hong Kingston again, with Peter. We both enjoyed it.

Checked out the name of the poet with the hard hitting-lines whom she mentions, it is Wislawa Szymborska, a Polish poet. Copied some of her poems from the Nobel Prize website. The ideas seem great, but they not poetic as such, in terms of their rhythm, at least at first reading. I imagine that they may be a lot better in the original language. She's been translated into many languages. They have only one of her books at the Central Library. I'll get it next time I'm there. Shall write her name down in my diary - I won't be able to remember it otherwise.

In the mean time I find that others also want to read Natalie Goldberg, and I've got almost every volume of hers which is available at the Central Library, except for one which is safe in far away Miramar. I must return them. Am loath to part from Living Color, hanging onto it as if it were a talisman, though fully read. It is mainly for the story of the garage door which she did not paint:

"I had a pad with me, but I thought the paper was too small. The door felt too big. And besides I had four miles to walk back to Plum Village where everyone else was doing sitting meditation.
That mistake haunted me for a long time. The turquoise door had a life of its own and that life wanted me. I failed that door, that moment in history. Something wanted to be painted, and I did not heed it."

Shall have to get my own copy. Tried Book Haven, they have Maxine Hong's The Fifth Book of Peace, real cheap and other works of hers, but nothing by Natalie.

What I'm reading at the moment is Etty Hillesums' A life Interrupted and Letters from Westerbork. More about that tomorrow.

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