Beneath the domestic surface

Zen garden (21 May 2016)

Zen garden (21 May 2016)

“Mementos that Bird has kept for years hold the past inside them, making it tangible and permanent: clippings of Mickey’s hair, peels of the first orange they shared, a bloody tissue. They stir nostalgia but reopen its wounds, like scabs asking to be tugged back so they can bleed.” (from Sarah Gerard’s NYT review of “Bird” by Noy Holland)

On page 59: a lovely sentence that seems like a found senryū …

A swell of things:
gathered, unsortable,
gone. 

“It is here, in Holland’s subtly radiant ­details … that “Bird” shines brightest, since they so aptly mirror what’s happening beneath the domestic surface.” (another snippet from Sarah Gerard’s review)

This novel sings like
poetry; I’m obliged to 

read between the lines.

(19 May 2016)

“The writing is hallucinatory, musical and intimate.” (Sarah Gerard)


Holland, Noy. 2015. Bird. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint Press.

On Lambton Quay

two violins by Danny Andreini

two violins by Danny Andreini

On Lambton Quay, Bach
for two violins; small boy
stands captivated.

(16 May 2016)


On an autumn afternoon, unexpectedly, a vivacious counterpoint crosses Lambton Quay and stirs up in me both joy and nostalgia.

Smiling on a rainy day

sunflower (08 March 2012)

sunflower (08 March 2012)

Buses on route 2 (Miramar to the Wellington railway station) are so well patronised you’ve got to wonder why they don’t run more often. Be that as it may, I don’t mind standing as long as I have somewhere to hold on securely. And I must not get crushed into a position that makes getting off difficult.

Thursday morning, at around eight-fifteen, I’m about to get off at Arty Bee’s Bookshop. I have my Snapper card ready. I can see myself able to squeeze through to the front door. I pick up my bag. Because it’s made of paper, however, and because it has been in the rain, it abruptly collapses. Books, bananas, bits, and bobs spill onto the floor.

A quiet calm settles upon me as the kind people around me pick things up and hand them to me. With surprising clarity of mind, I take stock … Yes, I have everything, thank-you, people. Once off the bus, I reorganise myself and my belongings. Then it dawns on me: I haven’t tagged off. But that’s okay, because people are still pressing their way in.

Calmly … sublimely serene … I reach into the bus and tag off.

I am loved. I am cared for. Aren’t people lovely?


PS: Posted this little anecdote first on Facebook. My sister-in-law enquired: “Did you make it to Porirua or did you abandon your weekly visit [to see father at Kemp Home] due to the flooding out here?”

My response: “I made it to Porirua, but one of the other passengers on the 211 had her mobile running reports on the flooding. So I got Dad on the phone and told him he’d have to do without the bananas and chocolate. We had a good chat.

“Then I walked through the rain from Pataka to the railway station. At one intersection, the water was ankle deep. The journey back home was uneventful, but I was happy to change into dry clothes and wait for the arrival of the two boxes of wine I’d arranged to have delivered after lunch.”

Thin red line

thin red line (23 December 2015)

thin red line (23 December 2015)

“You like buildings, do you?” A mature female voice is addressing me.

I am in Victoria Street, and about to click the shutter on this image, an uncommonly handsome view of the Central Police Station – a strong contender, I reckon, for the title of Wellington’s ugliest building.

Standing at my right shoulder, the speaker is clad in a striking mauve jumpsuit. Jauntily perched on her head is a smart little summer hat. She is not someone I know.

I smile as she wishes me the compliments of the season.

“I like anything that catches my eye,” I tell her. “So be careful.”

The clock ticks three times as she registers what has been said. And then both her thumbs go up. “Nice one!” she declares.

 

 

The last ever Kirkcaldie’s Christmas Shop

I wanted to write a nostalgic piece about the last ever Kirkcaldie’s Christmas Shop … but these photos I snapped on Sunday afternoon took the words right out of my mouth.

In June of this year, it was announced that “Troubled Wellington department store Kirkcaldie & Stains, affectionately known as Kirks, is poised to shut its doors next February.” Dating back to 1863, Kirks has been the capital city’s leading department store for generations, and is the oldest in the country still trading under its original name. The silver lining, according to Kirks chairman Falcon Clouston, is that the site would reopen as the first New Zealand store of Australian retailer David Jones, which aims to retain most of the 270 staff. (Adapted from a story by Catherine Harris, James Weir & Talia Shadwell (see Stuff link here))

Year by year, since I don’t remember when, I’ve been adding to my lovely collection of Christmas tree ornaments, and Kirkcaldie’s has been a major source. There’s also a lovely group of white plaster putti, and some elegant German glass (etched and cut), but that’s another story for another time.

It remains to be seen what David Jones will come up with next Christmas. In the meantime, the two red poinsettia flowers from the last ever Kirkcaldie’s Christmas shop look great on this year’s tree.

A Unique Trust Placed in Chance and Eternity: Philosopher Alain Badiou on How We Fall and Stay in Love | Brain Pickings

Source: A Unique Trust Placed in Chance and Eternity: Philosopher Alain Badiou on How We Fall and Stay in Love | Brain Pickings