Thursday, 28 June 2012

Away, away

If common sense ruled me I'd be packing for a weekend in Melbourne, instead of vegetating in front of the TV watching a program on the Panama Canal. Can I compare my life to navigating a supertanker through the narrow canals, with only a metre or so spare on either side, hoping there won't be landslides of other natural disasters? Engineers rule, ok?

It was a busy day. After choir last night I had to do the homework for today's Italian class. It can be difficult to make myself do it. We have been studying Dante's Inferno and we were required to describe our reaction to it. It was a daunting task, as it is such an immense work, especially writing in Italian. I got it done, impeded slightly by the fact that I could not locate the button on Word for italics. I know it used to be there, but it snuck off somewhere, and I wasted valuable creative time looking for it, and maybe the inventor of the programme ought to be sent down to one of the nastiest circles, I brooded bitterly. I use the old computer because that has my CD-Rom Italian-English dictionary loaded on it, and I have not been able to load it on to the newer computer.

In my view, if Dante were alive today he would be making horror movies.

Finally I bashed out something reasonably meaningful. In the Italian class we tend to sit in the same places each week, and I am down one end, which means that probably about 75 per cent of the time I have to start off the discussion. A while back I protested, and now occasionally we start on the other side, and I get a break and time to rearrange my thoughts, not to mention my vocabulary and my grammar. Dennis ought to start first, in my view, as he is so erudite and he churns through complicated literature just like the dredgers cleaning out the landslides from the Panama Canal. Mind you, he used to teach English. I tend to do a lot of my comments off the cuff, or on the spur of the moment. It is amazing what you can get away with!

By the time I had done my Dante, it was quite late, but I wanted to keep reading David Lodge's Therapy. I observed some blog posts ago that there were a lot of books I had not finished reading, and one of the comments expressed surprise, and thus I felt a bit of a fraud and a failure. It is not that I don't want to finish the books, it is just that some of them are too long, or the sort of books you and read a part of, and then go back to them as desired or needed. Such as the history of Christianity or of the Roman empire or the Renaissance, or some biographies. Or some other book or subject demands immediate attention.  There are now far fewer calls on my time and energy, and I am able to read more.

If it were not so late at night, and if I did not have to pack and catch a plane tomorrow, I would make some more comments on David Lodge's book. Briefly, it was most engrossing, and showed many different ways of writing, leading me, his reader, on a merry and dazzling dance, deftly guided by his mastery of his craft. I did finish the book.

It it strange how things coincide suddenly. Recently I went to see the film The Way, with the wonderful Martin Sheen playing a bereaved father who continued his son's pilgrimage to Santiago di Compostela, scattering his ashes along the way. Having done some scattering myself of late, this touched all the chords of my heart and the tears streamed gently down my face. Unexpectedly, to me, Therapy also took the protagonist of the novel - a scriptwriter - on that same pilgrims' route.

How does it happen that such things find you, so suddenly, so aptly but so randomly? It is a mysterious thing.

1 comment:

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