Friday, March 16, 2007

A bird called Julian

Stop Press. Back to the old blogspot address for the meantime because of archive problems. Sorry.


Yesterday, as we sat on the lime pocked rubble splattered ground which will grow up, in May, to be a terrace, eating ham salad and drinking rosé, we noticed a fringe of people crouched up against the trees that lined a distant wheat-field. It was a group of American art students.

"Are they painting us boozing at lunchtime, do you think?" I asked Julian. I couldn't help but wonder if there was, amongst them, anyone spying for the New York Times; trying to catch the star of Shifting Light slacking....

"No, silly" Julian said. "They're painting the Mont Ventoux. From that close it's a mammoth task, like trying to paint the world. I'm constantly painting it out the window, but mostly I paint the clouds. What is sad is that right behind them is a road with beautiful shadows that is much more interesting."

This morning we walked up to Pierreavon to see the kissing almond trees in blossom but alas they had already turned to leaf. However, as is always the case here when one thing dies, if we look further afield, another is budding. In this case, a dreamy plum orchard in tight bud, the trunks of the trees standing in pools of forget-me-nots.

Stopping on the Grand Randonée 91 while Julian hopped up a path to find a good rocky view, I sat on the white stones, closed my eyes and listened to the birds. Realising it was all too easy to concentrate on the one pretty song of the robin, I tried to open my ears to the whole winged community - to the chirps in the distance and tweets in the wings. Suddenly I heard a sound approaching, a melodic hum closely related to a folk song we got closer and closer and suddenly, in front of me, there was the bird called Julian.

plum blossom


Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you know your archive links don't work?

I hope I can say that I liked the writing better before you went on that course - it seemed more spontaneous, intimate, honest and vulberable - has something been lost in the more serious crafting?

11:02 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

anonymous, thanks for the archives observation. I hope it is working now?

i am sorry you are disappointed in my writing since i went on 'that' course. actually i am taking a little less care these days on my blog posts in general as I am trying to write a book alongside being a professional cellist. For me writing is a constant exploration. I am trying out different approaches all the time and one of them is, in the sprit of 'show don't tell', to try to reveal slightly less personal stuff directly. Partly also it is to protect my life with julian a bit. We are both so 'out there' in the e-world, and sometimes I like to save a bit of intimacy for us. I have to admit there have been times when I felt gobbled up! Then I asked myself 'What did I feed them?' The bottom line is, this blog continues because I love to write and that must mean I love to change the way I write otherwise I would have given up ages ago.

ps why is it that, whenever anyone writes critically, they remain anonymous?

12:00 AM  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Ruth, so glad you're back (in my comments box that is), I'd been worrying! BTW I disagree with anonymous, whoever he or she might be (and, yes, why anonymous?). I don't find a difference in your before/after writing - which could raise the question 'so why go on the course then?', but I don't think it's relevant because those courses work on so many levels. I think if you hadn't mentioned going on the course, nobody would have perceived a difference, except perhaps in the changes you mention, from trying things out, and those that arise naturally as you mature as a writer. I know you're busy, and don't want to hassle... but I do look forward to your next post, whenever it may be. Zx

10:45 AM  

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