Wednesday, 11 March 2009

i lock the heart with a birthday card, then swallow the key

I stayed up way too long yesterday because I fell in love with Butcher Boy and simply had to listen to their songs over and over again. Funny how that sometimes happens. "You shouldn't be kissing with your eyes closed, you shouldn't be standing where the light shows."

Yesterday my book got caught in the escalator and due to my slippery shoes I was almost dragged down to the ground because I didn't want to let go of it. I have no clue how this could happen, but parts of my copy of "Strait is the Gate" by André Gide are missing now. Luckily it's only the tops of the first pages. And it's such a wonderful book! It's so melancholy that it adds to a desire to drown oneself though.
I like the ways one chooses one's books. My favourite character Amy in one of my favourite books, Ali Smith's "Like", thinks of "La Porte Étroite" as her favourite book. Amy is a curious character, very restricted, very intelligent, remote and controlled. When I first read "Like", I was so struck by how she was described that I used to read the passages about her university life again and again. I used her as a strange sort of role model - I still do. So of course André Gide had to be read sooner or later.
Two weeks ago I wandered around Edinburgh on my own and made my way to the second hand bookshop that I had visited before. There it was, "Strait is the Gate", an old Penguin Modern Classic, the cover showing a detail from Matisse's "The Reader". When I read the short desciption on the back cover, I immediately knew why it was Amy's favourite, I realised that Ali Smith must have seen her before her inner eye. Those words on the back cover could also have described Amy, after all: "Strait is the Gate is a devastating exploration of the destructive force of spirituality allowed to grow to excess." I immediately knew I'd like it.

So I've been reading this book and I've also been walking round and drinking tea at the Aida and I've been biting my lip and getting wet in the rain. And I've not been able to call anyone or do anything except listening.

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