A Necklace of Memorable Days
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"Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. To be damned is for one's ordinary everyday mode of consciousness to be unremitting agonising preoccupation with self."
Iris Murdoch, The Nice and The Good
What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful, that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art. The main requisite, I think, on reading my old volumes, is not to play the part of a censor, but to write as the mood comes or of anything whatever; since I was curious to find how I went for things put in haphazard, and found the significance to lie where I never saw it at the time.
" She strung the afternoon on the necklace of memorable days, which was not too long for her to be able to recall this one or that one; this view, that city; to finger it, to feel it, to savour, sighing, the quality that made it unique."
Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being
"Why did I write any of my books, after all? For the sake of the pleasure, for the sake of the difficulty. I have no social purpose, no moral message; I've no general ideas to exploit, I just like composing riddles with elegant solutions."
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A while back, I went to take more photographs of the Farine Five Roses sign
before it gets taken down. One of the vantage points for photographing the
sign is the site where saint Ann's Church used to stand. The church, the
centre of the Irish working class district called Griffintown, was built in
1854 and torn down in 1970 as the neighbourhood was largely demolished to
make way for the Ville Marie expressway. All that's left today is a park
with benches along the former nave of the church, and a few foundation
stones. The bottom photo shows row houses in the bottom block of Mountain
Street, facing the park.
On Sunday, my daughter and I took part in a workshop building terra cotta
female figures as part of Claude Desjardins' project
Soldiers of Peace
Mustaches and the costumemakers' workroom
Animal costumes for kids and big heads for Bonhomme, the mascot of the
annual Quebec Winter Carnival...
Costumes at Joseph Ponton's
Here are some shots of the windows of Joseph Ponton's costume shop in Old
Montreal. It is across the street from the Centaur Theatre, one of the
English theatre companies in Montreal. Swamprose took the bottom shot.
There were two huge cruise ships docked in Montreal Harbour the other day,
the Maasdam and the Amsterdam. Old Montreal's tiny cobblestoned streets were
jammed with cabs trying to deliver passengers to the ships, one of which was
about to leave for a trip down the Saint Lawrence to Halifax and New York.
Several groups of tourists asked Swamprose if she would take a photo of them
with their cameras, so I took photos of them too. This family was cheerful
and friendly; when we ran into them later in the day, they said hello as if
they were old friends. The couple was dour. The gentleman was critical of
the way Swamprose was framing her shot and made her stand farther back.
The bottom photo contrasts a rusty old icebreaker with the Maasdam, docked
in adjacent slips.
11th Oct 2006, 23:39