Saturday 3 July 2021

The field near Coachford

P was reading Carson McCullers The Ballad of the Sad Café and other stories, I was reading Daphne du Maurier, The Parasites, in the field near Coachford, by the lake. Shall I list the events? The way the sun eluded and then a generator started up on the other side of the lake, then a chainsaw, clearing the bottom of someone's garden. Followed by and punctuating, scullers come through from the National Rowing Centre (NRC), in training no doubt, but warm, neutral, receptive.

Close your eyes, said the coach from his motor launch, through a loudhailer.

We watched them sculling with their eyes closed, barely dividing the waters. Watching someone who has been told to close their eyes while sculling down a lake, is a choice pleasure.

Do you need to be told? Why can't you just glide? Is everything training for the Big Race (BR)?

While P was having a swim I borrowed Carson McCullers and read The King of Finland story. We'd been talking about tolerance of indeterminacy and how I had more than most. On the page, at any rate. Why, we didn't get into.

 I talked a bit about Daphne du Maurier; nothing indeterminate there. She is indulgent in a way people can understand. The glass is clear, you can see straight through to Daphne, straight through all the theatre, the popular tunes, the family knots and ties. 

Not quite so clear through to Carson. By the end of The King of Finland you are thoroughly removed from whatever you first thought about who is lying and whether or not lying might be our underlying condition. 

Daphne would say: Yes, it is. 

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