online: 8 september 2005
modified: 7, 8 september 2005

7 september 2005 realityandliterature

18:58 Station, clear sky, bright sunlight and west wind - i feel no heat in the air and the steel lamp post is cool to touch...

...a lovely evening, high visibility, and i'm surprised not to be feeling tired or sad after a day of beginning to pack, and to transfer electricity, gas, water supply and telephone services to the address to which i am moving in 2 weeks...

On the heath:
For some minutes i sat on the seat that is inscribed:

in memory of Kate Lunn

1977 - 1997

to know how to live is all

A changed perception today, i am seeing the rows of tree-trunks as a single entity, and the open sky and the treetops and this seat and its inscription - all these seem to be parts of a unity, the jet plane slowly descending, the emptiness of the meadow, and even the retreat of the algae in pond 2 from about 99 to 70% of the water surface this evening now that the air is less heated...

20:45 A nice evening on the meadow (i cannot better these conventional adjectives for they do seem to describe this evening as i see it).

Now i'm at the topmost seat in the meadow, from which i can see the tall buildings at both Canary Wharf and the City... The bare sky and the warm wind and the quietness of the meadow this evening induced me to sit and write while i digest the picnic of apple tart that i ate a few minutes ago at pond 1... and now, in the minutes before it's too dark to see what i'm writing, i breathe deeply... and watch... as the tall buildings reflect what remains of the sunset against a background of red safety lights on nearby towers and of hazy pink and grey air made visible (and smoggy) by droplets of something (poisonous i suppose)...

...another jetplane is descending... And now i see the lights of 2 aircraft approaching from the east - perhaps they are helicopters?... Slowly they get nearer ... are they flying together (as so few aircraft do) ?... no they part, one to the north and the other to the south... and now i can't see them any more (as their head lights are no longer directed towards me)... is too dark to write... as the city lights-up and the heath enters darkness. i pause to put on a pullover i stoop to pick up some discarded apples and see that they fell from the crab apple tree above - perhaps i will try to cook them when i return... my hand was stung by nettles as i gathered the apples in near darkness...

...and after harvesting these poor fruits of the city forest i hope to harvest something more imaginative from my city archive before i sleep - perhaps the fiction that is still waiting for a timely moment and may spring into life as i scan some of the 100's of files of papers that i am either taking with me or throwing away... (if i can decide what to do with them - i wish i could digitise the whole lot!)...

Next morning:
I sampled the first of my filing cabinets of papers but most of what i found depressed me so i threw it away...

...and now, looking at something i didn't throw (notes of 15.1.1984 while reading some of Henry James' essays) i'm pleased, and perhaps inspired to return to writing 'fiction' as if it were reality (which of course it is, just as (social) reality is another fiction, enforced)...

In those notes of 1984 i wondered why Henry James described his stories and novels as reality, not fiction. I guessed that he saw both life and literature as parts of a limitless whole that is both real and imaginary... and therefore to label life as real and writing as fictitious is to destroy the continuity that includes both.

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