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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Chippie and Ernie, the cats of a friend.
28th Sep 2006, 01:17
or Jimson Weed- beautiful, hallucinogenic and poisonous, growing in the
municipal greenhouse of the small town in which I live.
27th Sep 2006, 18:51
27th Sep 2006, 04:44
The bronze centre in these two dollar coins is a separate piece of metal,
which the Canadian Mint swore could not be removed. Needless to say, when
the coins were introduced about a decade ago, everyone was enthusiastic
about trying to get them out. It turned out that it was actually very easy
to do; a little tap with a nail set over an empty space would do it. Usually
people just flipped the inner parts over and tapped them back into place, so
the polar bears were identified as Queen Elizabeth II... Canadian humour, eh?
26th Sep 2006, 02:31
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THe Houses of Parliament and the Ottawa River seen from The National Gallery
"Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo..."
This is a photograph of my father meeting a cow. It was taken in 1916 which
was coincidentally the year that Joyce published Portrait of the Artist as a
Young Man. The quotation is the first sentence of Portrait.
25th Sep 2006, 17:05
When I was on the third floor of the National Gallery in Ottawa, I noticed
this man sitting in the garden (photos 3 and 4). Quite a while later, I
looked out the windows of the second floor and was surprised to still see
him there, especially since it was cold and damp. From closer, I could see
that he had drawn a heart in the sand with someone's initials and was
tracing it over and over with the tip of his umbrella. I wonder if s/he ever
On highway 417, between Montreal and Ottawa.
21st Sep 2006, 18:22
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