Clare will now read her Ode to Life

In Current reading, Drafts, Hautvoir, photography on March 12, 2014 at 8:11 am

For ten euro, you could even buy the book.

After this sentence, there follows a moment of suspension. I watch three pigeons walk single file down the edge of a roof (the same three as the other day? Hm.) The sky as clear as if clouds had never existed, spring bursting forth. Setting a microphone to the ground, would you hear the roots sucking up water like a kid slurping the last bit of juice with a straw? A thought. Somebody’s science project, maybe.

Back to the book I didn’t buy. Instead, I spent the money on four notebooks and a set of mini fine point markers in several colors, of a size suitable for carrying around. I jotted down a few words from the book, though. They summarized the main intent and purpose of the writing – and of the reading I attended. The words I jotted down were among the least mawkish of the sentiments on display. Their author described the workshop as an opportunity to anchor the inner in the outer world. An apt description of what a group of psychiatric patients must experience when given the opportunity to put words to their inner landscapes.

From what I heard yesterday, the writers aimed to please. The workshop leader and the family members in attendance looked appreciative. Something like payback time for the less savory moments associated with unhinged times. Yesterday, all was love, peace and concord. I’m sure we all agree there can’t be too much of any of those. Except that the patients seemed so medicated, the whole experience had something of the Cuckoo’s Nest feeling to it.

But spending the day in a different town? Coming home with a whole new pile of books? Photos of different doors and windows, the sight of different faces and other streets. Glory be, I’m about to turn mawkish myself.



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