Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Salon 6.15am

Sunday, and it is still dark. Outside the cars in the street are glistening like glacé fruits - every surface covered in an opaque, sugar-like frost. A solitary bird sings but apart from that everything is still and quiet. No wind. No sign of life.

It is so hard to stay asleep sometimes. A thought wriggles free from the calm lake of my unconscious and thrashes around until it gains my attention. There is always something, always a stray thought leaping up, glittering in the strange silver-light of dreams and refusing to sink again. This insomniac scoops it up and examines it: so many perplexing scales, and such worrying sharp fins - and look at the way it gulps at the air and leaps around as if trying to escape. But I hold tight and watch as the eyes slowly turn from glittering to dull and the gills cease their frantic rooting for water. Quiet now. Be still and I shall drop you back amongst your fellows and we shall both, once again, be at peace.

So how do I let go? It is not supposed to be a good idea to read and yet I do - it is Sunday after all. A couple of days ago this little book arrived in the post - quite a mysterious little surprise - and I was delighted to have it. It was from Andrea See from Canongate and the little book is a tale from THE GARGOYLE by Andrew Davidson due to be published by Canongate in September 2008. The book itself is quite beautifully produced, with many pages of Japanese stencil-like pictures at the end.

The style of writing is very plain; very much like SKY BURIAL which I read a couple of years ago. It is about the daughter of a glassblower in Japan who captures her breath - and her love - in the glass that she blows. It is an enchanting little tale; and very interesting since it has the flavour of something old and traditional and yet startles now and again with a modern reference; for instance the heroine's death is caused by a 'severe allergic reaction' from an insect. Like most fairy stories it is sad but satisfying.


Blogger jem said...

I got this little treat too and I loved the way the envelope matched!

I like to save mini books to carry out and about with me, so if I ever get stranded somewhere for a few minutes I always have something to read.

Sun Dec 23, 01:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Aha - what an excellent idea, Jem. It's almost scary being stranded somewhere without anything to read!

Sun Dec 23, 02:09:00 pm  

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