online: 4 april 2004

(designed to read with the window set to two-thirds of the screen width)

4 april 2004 the highest heaven

13:22 Outdoor cafe. Windy day. I'm surprised to have walked this far - when I set out I thought I'd turn back after a few minutes but soon I ceased to feel tired and felt able to walk for an hour or two.

There are many people here today, it's Easter, Palm Sunday, but I don't feel much affinity with any of them. I see them as people who, though out of doors, are as bounded by family concerns as they are at home - but I could be wrong, their polite attention to each other might not exclude wide-ranging thoughts?

13:50 I'm sitting now near to 'monolith-empyrean' an abstract sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, 1953. [empyrean = the sphere of fire, or the highest heaven] I like it more and more - for the modesty and subtlety of it's shallow curves - and its stillness. I wrote of it earlier [7 september 2001, 12 february 2003]. Today, as I look at it from the west, against the dark greenness of rododendrons, rising from the bright greenness of grass, it seems to have the presence of a person, but utterly still, existing more in ages than in minutes, days or weeks or months...

...rain falls on the handheld so I put it away and continue this on paper, beneath an umbrella, and enjoy sharing for a few minutes the weather that has, over fifty years, caused mosses or other tiny organisms to grow on Barbara Hepworth's sculpture. [Should they be removed? 4 december 2001]

As I look at it now, while hearing raindrops falling on this little moveable tent, I see this sculpture as quite timeless, or more of future time than of the time when it was made.

14:12 And now the rain has stopped and weak sunlight illuminates its surfaces - and casts sharp shadows on its concavities and holes. I am reminded, more and more, of the unearthly quality of abstract art - though I know that Barbara Hepworth was thinking of the rocks and caves and seas and waves of which she spoke in films of her work (that I used to hire in the 1950s in order to teach design to engineers). Despite these influences I see this work of hers, now, as beyond nature, beyond gardening, existing in or as an aspect of life perceived as sublime, nothing less... but these words, straining my vocabulary, oppose, rather than reflect, the calmness of this work.

Station. Gentle rain, lit from behind by the sun - it's as close to my idea of 'april showers' as I can imagine.

Back at the keyboard. Tremendous enjoyment in completing this entry and in putting it online. The date is 04.04.04 - day, month and year are today indistinguishable!

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