Sunday, January 12, 2014

Four more books for Rebecca's re-education

I don't often put posts on more than one of my blogs, but I want to share this with more some of the people who may not look at my other blog:

Simon has sent me many many words over the past year. I have read every word, often more than once. I have wondered who Simon is, what the truth is, what honesty means.  He has helped me to understand that memory is even more fleeting and personal than I could ever imagine. He makes me weary about age, injustice, being a white male in post war Britain. I take what Simon says and lay it on my own version of history, a history not lived here and see that my empathy can only go a little way to understanding the experience that Simon writes about, but that is OK.  I am reading his words.  He is communicating to me and that communication is changing my view in some way that may not even be understood yet. 

I have transcribed two short passages of the 72 pages in these booklets (A5 in size) which I spent this morning reading at the breakfast table.  I have punctuated them in a way that makes sense to me.  Simon  uses no punctuation. So, Simon may not mean them the way I have read them.  They are not what Simon writes about in the bulk of his pages, but they are the passages that speak to me, today.

"This London came to me later.  I always knew it was there. Before it was a sketch; I would see those fallen through the net of civilization as far back as I remember.  I saw the underbelly of London, derelicts, the public scurrying by lowlife.  What I read, I found in London, the city I could identify in my reading. The paintings looked at were more real to me than London which I imagined.  As a painted backcloths, the figures in the paintings would detach, step out of the canvas, become autonomous.  I would meet the figures on the London streets, would come home with them on the train.  The landscapes of the paintings are the landscapes of my life.  I look at the painting, enter the worlds of the painting, follow the road as depicted past the woman on the roadway.  I leave the national museum for the walk, transported across Europe, all landscape long familiar to me.  I step from the painting into the national Museum.  The man of the staff, watching the public, saw me in the far distance of the painting; the landscape of the walk is the landscape of Tring.  I can walk on the wooded hills surrounding Tring and enter a painting in the National Museum from which I will be present in London."

"I have spent my life sending messages into inner space writing letters no one read, let alone understood.  A painter makes marks.  It is debatable who the public of these marks is.  Does the painter know what his doing?  I made marks for no one out of eternal need, as a way of messaging a city of paint.  Build your city of paint.  May your marks show the way."  

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