January 13, 2006


With enthusiastic thanks to those of you who prompted me to continue along this track of memories. Teju Cole in his comment to my last post suggested this title (referring to an email I'd written a while ago about the Mickey incident).

"What I think is needed here is a whole blog dedicated to your past. Your family and your sense of home (or lack thereof) always seem to bring out these very affecting stories and images. Like water fetched from the bottom of a deep well: pristine, cool, mysterious".

I won't start a new blog at the moment because I have enough trouble keeping up with this one and all its pages-within-pages. But I will, for as long as the spirit moves, explore this theme in this space and see where it leads. Apart from that, my focus is on preparing Augustine interviews God for publication. You'll be the first to know when that happens.THE SEARCH CONTINUESSometimes the clues to finding what is lost might be hiding in dreams. Recently I discovered talking dream, the fascinating blog of Rodger Kamenetz, author and dream-walker (he walks through your dream with you). I sent him reports of a couple of particularly vivid dreams and his answers are illuminating - it will take me some time to fully explore them. Searching your past, especially in photographs and other images, is like trying to remember dreams. Parts are dim or blurred, others stand out in sharp relief, others are reconstructions, bits added or removed by your inner editor. In my dreams I am often trying to get back somewhere (home?) and keep getting lost or delayed or distracted.January 11, 2006


A poem about home.At qarrtsiluni Finding Home was last month's theme and the drawn-poem below was my contribution to what has been an inspiring collection of meditations on the subject. Equally, there is teju cole's deeply affecting new blog about his return home to Nigeria after a long absence. Reading each of these beautifully wrought accounts of various writers' experiences of what home means to them, my appreciation was tinged with nostalgia and envy. Nostalgia for something I glimpsed long ago and envy because I never will have again the sense of belonging to a specific place.

January 8, 2006


At Vitriolica's irresistible instigation a bunch of us volunteered to write/illustrate an impromptu blogstory - like that party game where a sheet of paper is folded and each person adds a sentence. In this case there's a lot more than a sentence and results are not quite so surreal. Our names were put into a hat to decide who would write/illustrate which chapter and it's my turn to send in an illustration for Chapter 7. Go see all the fantastic contributions to this cooperative work of hot fiction. The list of participants is here. I'm supposed to provide both words and picture for Chapter 21.

Chapter 7, blogstory illustration. COMMENTS

January 6, 2006


Happy New Year.

Remember my lion, back in November? I accidentally sat on him the other day and suddenly there was this sound - something between a mouse with bronchitis, a flushing toilet and a mildly enthusiastic person saying Wow. I thought I had squeezed every part of his body before but apparently I missed a crucial spot above his paw.

The lion speaks.

No doubt there will be more meaningful conversations this year and I hope they won't all be with Leo.

I'm glad these holidays are over and done with. I would like to cut the whole period between mid-December and the first week of January right out of the calendar. It has it's good moments but they could just as well be inserted at other times.

Here's an amazing break in the clouds that appeared as I looked out the window, maybe on Christmas day.

Christmas sky.

Something else I did during these non-blogging days was to gather together all the pens that were lying around in jars, drawers, bags or pockets. This is a very enlightening thing to do. It teaches you that no pen is eternal, no pen is ever there when you need it and no pen is ever as good as you think it will be. Also that pens need to be refilled, whether they are ballpoint or fountain.