Friday, 31 July 2020
Under the huge weight of the pink rambling rose stretched along the middle halfway up the picture are a brick wall, a wooden trellis and a garden door. The trellis is broken, the wall is cracked and the gate is held shut with string. HH (handsome hunk, how could you forget) will come and mend, as soon as the rose has finished flowering. The rose will be chopped and chopped and chopped, until there is little more than it’s thick trunk. That beauty is more than twenty five years old and still going strong.
I feel like time is standing still. Time was when things just happened, then they were over. Time just passed. We always come to the end of things, it’s a kind of relief to know that. Is that true still?
Urspo, in a slightly pensive post, reminded me of Beckett's ‘Waiting For Godot’, a play exclusively about waiting, waiting for an event that never happens. Is that what happens to us? Will there ever be a vaccine and a solution for Covid19? Or will we sit, like Vladimir and Estragon, in this desert of humanity’s own making for evermore? Will it help if I turn a blind eye and do what Voltaire suggests in Candide :”Il faut cultiver notre jardin.” I want to take this line literally, without looking for Voltaire’s social criticism. Candide exposes the failings of his society but at the end of the novel, Candide and his companions find happiness in raising vegetables in their garden. The garden represents the cultivation and propagation of life, which, despite all their misery, the characters choose to embrace.
A lesson to be learned, all the way from the 18th Century. Tending one’s garden (whichever way you read that) is the only way to live.
I have said before that in these uncertain times I turn to either non fiction or novelists who amuse me. Nora Ephron is one such, she can cheer me up during the darkest days. In Heartburn she has a paragraph which seems to be written for 2020:
What I love about cooking is that after a hard day, there is something comforting about the fact that if you melt butter and add flour and then hot stock, it will get thick! It’s a sure thing! It’s a sure thing in a world where nothing is sure; it has a mathematical certainty in a world where those of us who long for some kind of certainty are forced to settle for crossword puzzles.
Tired of Covid, tired of this Vale of Tears we find ourselves in, I will turn my attention to happier thoughts. Will you?