Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a Muse in the wardrobe. A little creature that is hard-wired to your inner creative that you can take off its hanger and plug in to waft around your space like a visionary air freshener, inspiring as you respire making the process of conceiving and forming as easy as pie. Failing that, I suppose we all have a mechanism that works in a sort of a way and for me the sort of a Muse is generally a mountain or some water. Up at 7,000 feet plus in the pre-Alps of the Belledonne mountains above Grenoble you find lakes. The ones in the picture are called les Lacs Roberts. Align them to a perfect sky (note the sticky candy clouds in the otherwise perfect blue – imperfection is perfection I always feel) and something in me soars and sparkles and I feel the inspiration bubble. Whether it makes any sense to anyone else or whether it is just garbled rubbish is neither here nor there – the fact is that my soul is free and light. It’s a start.
PS: The title is from a song called Supermassive Black Hole …. My husband is another sort of muse for me though I don’t keep him in a wardrobe on a hanger – he of the two brains who has been working to get the first images of M87 a common or garden supermassive black hole and looks to the stars for his muse (when he’ not looking to me of course!) The song is by The Muse … it amused me. Here is is:
I do appreciate that my interpretations of the photo challenges set by The Daily Press may appear a little random to the casual observer but I can assure you that I do have a process. I clock the word, in this case ‘afloat’ and then I scour my photographs for something that strikes a chord within me. It’s a bit like when I was at primary school. We had the most inspirational music teacher, Mrs Russell who pursuaded the Headmaster, Mr Caldicott, that we should do music every single day. So we did. And we had an orchestra and a choir of course but we had so much more – Miss Gardner-Brown led the pop group in which we sang Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel songs, 59th Bridge Street Song being a favourite on account of being allowed to click our fingers; I played double bass in the orchestra and we had a subgroup of 2 violins, 2 cellos a viola and me and a recorder group with the impossibly beautiful Sarah Chant trilling on her sopranino. We went to Eisteddfods and won prizes and we went to other schools to demonstrate what music could be in a school. We played in the Church of St James The Less down the road (I always wondered about St James the More) and they used my Bass to stop the traffic as we crocodiled giggling and higgle-piggling through the lychgate. And sometimes I was given chime bars to play and I loved it when the sound of the chime rang true and sweet and gave vital chime-ness to the piece that we were playing. So simple – strike it when asked and it resonates perfectly. In principle, that is my process – find it, strike it and hey presto, bongo we have lift-off. In principle.
Voila! Here is a picture that, for me, evokes the algaefied tree island in TheLife of Pi or Asteroid B-612 when the baobob trees have invaded it and forced The Little Prince to leave his beloved home planet. It is afloat in a lake in the park that surrounds Tsaritsyno Palace one of many summer palaces built on the periphery of Moscow for the uber rich of their day, these days superceded by equally super-rich oligarchs who strut and swagger and swamp the city with petrol fumes from their hefty cars steadily choking their planet in no less a profound way than the baobob trees have ruined the asteroid and made the Little Prince’s Rose ill or the algae has made the tree island an acidic flesh eating hell whilst appearing to be a tranquil haven to Pi or any other cast upon its shores.
PS: There is the odd day when I wish I was on Asteroid B-612 or afloat with Richard Parker in a vast ocean. Just the odd day you understand. An odd one here and an odd one there. I try not to let them join up too much for Donne is right – I’m no island.
We have lots of volcanic lakes here (and ponds and bogs too which the brown signs declare with particular promise though to be frank they probably aren’t exactly dramatically arresting to the untrained eye – which includes mine.) Lac de la Cregut is a favourite spot for a walk for The Bean, HB2 and I or just The Bean and I when we are sans les cerveaux (without The Brains). This weekend Bean and I visited with daughter number one and the snow was deep – around knee on me and The Bean had to body surf in the deep tracks made by our cumbersome steps. The lake is frozen – still, iced, mysterious in her winter slumber. Still waters with secrets beneath.
I live much of my life on my own with only a tiny dog for company …. from time to time I luxuriate in my husband’s company but sweet turns to bitter (not in a lemon sucking bitter way but in a sad, saline tears sort of way) when we say au revoir, à bientot as we did at 06:00 today, Clermont Ferrand gare ferroviaire. My antedote is a good old slug of fairytale Disney chateau and my local one is Chateau du Val – the princess in me never died and a few Rapunzelling towers make me and my long hair feel so much better – particularly when the sun shines!