Saturday 20 June 2015

A woman on the Ryanair flight back from France was reading Chat magazine: dense cover, lots of red and yellow, dense chat pages featuring text as onslaught and pictures as dough, interspersed with puzzles. I remembered her as I was reading Simone Weil up at the pond today. I don't know if it's hilarious or normal, the encounter of Chat and an essay on the abolition of all political parties. Ryanair is on the side of Chat, that's for sure.

I brushed by Simone Weil a long time ago, when I was inherently allergic to anything that flew in the face of common sense. A crowd of siskins rising from a hayfield, yes. Any kind of god, no. It wasn't the difficulty of her writing. I'm good at reading books I don't understand. I can find a phrase here, a sentence there, an idea, a chord touched. More like how we choose to spend our thinking time.

An idea that turns the norm around is attractive. Political parties haven't taken up much of my energy. Truth, on the other hand, has. Honesty. Integrity. Always wrestling with something like that. So far as political parties, or party politics, are concerned, I have not been drawn. Even green politics, even the Monster Raving Loony Party.

I would like a woman whose life could be described as a life of deliberate foolishness, as Czeslaw Milosz said, I would like the truth she espoused, she lived and died for, Joan of Arc with language and sight, I would like her refusal to join or seek adherents. All this is music to my alien ears. I might be afraid of her, but it is a fellow-feeling.

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