...and not getting any better. Another boiling hot day, with a sky like enamel. Traffic roars past over the Green.
It's odd to look at Miss R's pictures of her garden in Oz and see camellias and Daphne bholua in flower, and oranges fruiting; to think of having cool air with an edge of real chill surrounding one in the morning as one steps out of the back door to check on the last of the runner beans; to think of early winter, from the perspective of what Dennis Lee called "the swelter of July".
Ookpik, Ookpik, dance with us
'Till our lives grow luminous.
Feed the headlong green, in case
We do not give it living space.
In the swelter of July
Ookpik soften earth and sky.
Ookpik, Ookpik, by your grace
Help us live in our own space.
- Dennis Lee, from "Nicholas Knock and Other People", 1974.
I adored "Nicholas Knock and other people" and must have memorised getting on for half the poems in the book. I was ten, and feeding my mind was like feeding an insatiable whale - slurp, in goes another ten tons of cultural krill, whoosh, out goes the empty briny, what's next? By the time I was fourteen I had even set the title poem to music, although as I can't actually write music it remains stuck in my head, imprisoned.
I have decided to take this idea of "do something creative every day" to heart - it has worked for me before, I hope it will work again, and even if it doesn't it will still be fun. Last night I did some writing, challenging myself in the process as I was trying to describe a hard frost, on one of the hottest nights of the year so far. Tonight I am having supper with my brother, so by the time I've seen him onto the tube and got home and watered the garden I'll have to find something fairly short and sweet, like putting up some different postcards; or there's always sewing, after all. There's always sewing.
I had a weird dream; in the dream world I had aided and abetted the murder of a former housemate, and had helped to hide both the body and the vehicle in which it had been moved. His remains had never been found, and I had never been able to forget this terrible, terrible thing I had done. I don't mean that I find that surprising - I have no doubt that I would be tortured by my conscience every living minute, in such circumstances as these. But it was a dream, thank all the gods, so it was the product of my brain processing something and putting it into a new form in order to assess and assimilate it.
So I have been trying this morning to connect this with anything - anything at all - in my waking "real world" life, that might explain why I should dream of such things. I've drawn a blank, and I just end up saying "It must be the heat, the heat is getting to my brain." The heat is getting to my brain, and my limbs, and my feet (swelling) and my temper(also swelling) and my heart (aching). It's all the heat, all the heat's fault.
On the which note, let's end with a little weird humour; I just googled "Dennis Lee" and found that as well as the Canadian poet I memorised as a child there is also a chap of the same name who is trying to sell free energy machines; he sounds like the engineering equivalent of Bernard Madoff... It's a mad mad mad world out there.