Wednesday, June 22, 2011
In the window of the drawing-room
there is a rush of white as you pass
in which the figure of your husband is,
for a moment, framed. He is watching you.
His father will come, of course,
and, although you had not planned it,
his beard will offset your lace dress,
and always it will seem that you were friends.
All morning, you had prepared the house
and now you have stepped out
to make sure that everything
is in its proper place: the railings whitened,
fresh gravel on the avenue, the glasshouse
crystal when you stand in the courtyard
expecting the carriage to arrive at any moment.
You are pleased with the day, all month it has been warm.
They say it will be one of the hottest summers
the world has ever known.
Today, your son is one year old.
Later, you will try to recall
how he felt in your arms—
the weight of him, the way he turned to you from sleep,
the exact moment when you knew he would cry
and the photograph be lost.
But it is not lost.
You stand, a well-appointed group
with an air of being pleasantly surprised.
You will come to love this photograph
and will remember how, when he had finished,
you invited the photographer inside
and how, in celebration of the day,
you drank a toast to him, and summer-time.
Vona Groarke "The Family Photograph"
Friday, June 17, 2011
Violet had insisted that she must be allowed to do the flowers in peace before they started out on their long drive to town and to the mountains the next morning. And now she was standing before the piles of snapdragons, their heads heavy with rain, before the few tall spires of larkspur she had been able to save, and the careful faces of the zinnias (rain did not crumple them!) spread out on damp newspapers, covering almost the whole of the table in the study. At her feet she threw the withered stalks from the bunch which had stood there gradually disintegrating for the last two days. Sometimes the fugitive nature of this work into which she put so much thought and care depressed Violet. This was one of those days. They fade so fast, she was thinking. But what a rest it was to be arranging these passive stalks and stems, what a refuge from life with people who never stay put, who developed resentments and jealousies, or began to make demands just when one thought everything was settled.
May Sarton's "A Shower of Summer Days"
Coucou, I'm back after several weeks of adventure. To sum it up quickly, for the past three weeks I've been caring for large bands of children and trying to organize French people into a collective endeavour to start a public French immersion school. I'm happy to report that so far my efforts have been successful (although people never stay put!). And at one point, the highlight perhaps, there was even a pony.
Like Violet in Sarton's novel, I am ready to sit quietly and build my bouquet.