Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Morning smoke and green ink

I sat in a chair that sort of faced the sea, which is where the sun would set. The west coast. There I read in-between watching the ocean's mood swings and temper tantrums. Then read some more. Then dozed, warm winter sun on my face and chest and knees. Lambert's Bay; off the commercial and tourist beaten track: perfect.

Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir - a French writer, existentialist philosopher, political activist, intellectual, feminist and social theorist - fascinates me.

In her autobiography The Force of Circumstance, on Thursday, May 16, 1946, she wrote:

"Spring is coming. On my way to get cigarettes, I saw beautiful bunches of asparagus, wrapped in red paper and lying on the vegetable stall. Work. I have rarely felt so much pleasure writing, especially in the afternoon, when I come back at 4:30 pm in this room still full of the morning’s smoke. On my desk, sheets of paper covered in green ink. The touch of my cigarette and pen, at the tip of my fingers, feels nice. I really understand Marcel Duchamp when, asked whether he regretted having abandoned painting, he replied: “I miss the feeling of squeezing the paint tube and seeing the paint spilling on to the palette; I liked that.”

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