Other people’s words about … the way we look at things
In the sky [above the garden] a plane glints, tiny as a metal cracker toy, and draws a roar reduced to a whisper after it, as it follows the flight path over Bexford Hill towards distant Heathrow. There’s always a plane up there if you look, near or far, visible or only betrayed by a line of vapour, but always moving westwards … It’s as if the aeroplanes were part of the mechanism of the garden; a necessary part. As if this tidy patch of lawn surrounded by its fence, with its brilliant blossoms too many to count and its coiled yellow hose, together formed the bottom half of a machine of bliss, which required for its complete working the dome of sky above, and for the furthest component of its clockwork the timekeeping planes on their celestial track. Patiently they tick from east to west. Or perhaps they are joined to the sky, and it is the sky that is moving, a blue sphere studded with occasional silver that cranks around, and around, and around.
From ‘Light Perpetual’
by Francis Spufford
I love the way Francis Spufford, in the passage above, turns on its head the way we usually look at a place that is deeply familiar to us to create a whole new way of looking at it.
Sometimes maybe that’s all we need, right? A new perspective.
One day this week: A blue world.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been busy editing and working and making, meanwhile, small decisions about the way I plan to work from now on. I say they were small decisions and they were, really, but in some ways — the best ways — they have transformed the way I feel about how I live my daily life.
Over the years I’ve read a great deal about the benefits of cognitive behavioural therapy, which in essence is a therapy that aims to help a person change the way they think so that they can overcome their own particular mental obstacles.
Another day the same week: A grey world.
But I’ve never found much resonance in cognitive therapy. For me, it’s less about changing the way I think about things than it is about changing the way I see things.
Semantics, you think? Maybe. But it works for me.
Lately I’ve been reading …
- I thought, but what if you just keep going? What if it doesn’t end? And it doesn’t. Vulnerability never ends: Madeleine Watts in a wonderful conversation that ranges over topics as diverse as climate change and the difficulties of writing an anti-coming-of-age novel and the problems of writing about being a woman.
- Memoir writers have often been seen as baring too much, and as trafficking in their hurt: Katherine Angel on women who write about their pain.