Several Things

Saw Eric Rohmer’s A Tale of Springtime. He's very reliable – you will meet young, attractive, fairly prosperous people, who haven't fully settled into their lives. They meet, make friends, talk intelligently, part. Nothing much happens, yet you feel that you have been guided expertly through a story with a beginning and an end. You leave with the glow of beautiful French landscapes, rooms that have real fireplaces with tall gold-framed mirrors over them, and lots of books. My DVD library has a small shelf only for Rohmer's films, and I noticed with pleasure that there are still several that I haven't seen. Since my choices so far this year have been pretty much gloomy, horrible, or over the top (Man Bites Dog, Illuminata, Irreversible, Character), with only a few gems (Loves of a Blonde, The Tin Drum, Good-bye Lenin, Wild Strawberries), I'm longing for more of Rohmer's golden world.

Now that I have installed the extension forecastfox on my Firefox browser (why are only 22% of the people who read this blog using Firefox? Isn’t it time to leave Internet Explorer forever yet?), nice graphics of big round suns and the temperature rise up on my desktop from time to time, and then silently sink again. Yesterday the temperature was in the nineties for the first time. Yes, the dreaded veyilkkalam – the season of blinding sunlight -- is really on its way.

Since I can't get the idea of large waves quite out of my mind yet, here's another snippet from Jonathan Raban's Passage to Juneau (I’m almost finished with it, getting ready to move on to March's book: Orhan Pamuk's Snow; though I'm also dipping into John Bubsy's Drawing Birds, a lovely book recommended by someone on the Everyday Matters group, on the side):
According to Mircea Eliade, the earliest known form of decoration, the zigzag pattern rimming a Neolithic pot, represented a wave train in profile. On this coast, the undulating line of the waves, their interminable cycle of growth and collapse, ran through the art of the Indians as the essential shape of life itself. Waves chase each other around woven hats and baskets. Beautifully chiselled waves edge a goathorn ladle, a wooden feasting bowl, a maple-wood mortar. The swooping calligraphic brushstroke, as it defines the outlines of an extended composition, mimics the curve of the wave, from trough to crest and down to trough again.

Waves have always been emblems, full of sombre meaning. "I hear the waves!" cries out the six-year-old Paul Dombey in his delirium, a few moments before his death. Philip Larkin, at the seaside, meditates on "the small hushed waves' repeated fresh collapse", conjuring a multitude of small hushed lives going to their deaths. Shakespeare, in Sonnet 60, sees in the waves the futile brevity of life:
Like as the waves make to the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end,
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forward do contend...

The wave's urgent and dramatic expenditure of energy to no significant effect makes it a natural symbol of human self-importance and mortality. ...

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