Walking in Hyde Park:
Oscar Niemeyer*, his summer pavilion on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery. Clarity, simplicity, non-symbolic forms, honesty... and his example of being active at 96. I feel refreshed. It's as if post-modernism never happened.
W H Hudson**: writer and field naturalist - a bird sanctuary, a pond, and an Epstein sculpture, all in his memory. But the pond is covered by a green water weed. And wasn't there a fountain? The inscription is partly obscured by moss... But at least there are birds - pigeons, thrushes - also squirrels - behind the railings. A woman walks by and tells me she is going to write to someone about the neglect of it. Me too - I'm writing this!
...However Hudson himself might not object to the neglect of his memorial - he could have found the water weed and the moss interesting - and he apparently wished that no one would remember him or his works. But I think it better that people know what he did and was - a rare and perceptive writer and person - in touch with the divine as well as with the natural (yet a non-believer) - and an inspiration to others.
As I walked away: a smiling man in wheelchair and his smiling companion. He looked as if he had been disabled, and smiling, all his life - how does he do it? ...Both say hello! hello!
**W H Hudson, 1841-1922. Naturalist and novelist, much respected by Joseph Conrad and other writers of the time. David Miller, in his book 'W H Hudson and the Elusive Paradise, Macmillan, London 1990, isbn 0-333-46812-0, describes the spiritual openness of Hudson's nature writing and of his poetic fictions. Jacob Epstein's sculpture is of Rima, the half-mythical forest-woman of his best known novel Green Mansions.
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