(always a pleasure to find a photo of Anna Karina)
A rainy morning in Balamory & so it was a good excuse to go through boxes turning up a depressing amount of old papers & notes & scribblings. I was mainly searching for a text about looking at a Bonnard painting but I can't put my finger on the notebook. The one I thought it was in drew a blank. Know the feeling?
However, I did find this long quotation from Valéry. It must have caught my attention round about 1983 ... 1984. I lifted it out of History & Politics vol. 10.
"As for the most central of our senses, our inner sense of the interval between desire and possession, which is no other than the sense of duration, that feeling of time which was formerly satisfied by the speed of horses now finds that the fastest trains are too slow, and we fret with impatience between telegrams. We crave events themselves like food that can never be highly seasoned enough. If every morning there is no great disaster in the world we feel a certain emptiness: "There is nothing in the papers today", we say. We are caught red-handed. We are all poisoned. So I have grounds for saying that there is such a thing as our being intoxicated by energy, just as we are intoxicated by haste, by size ... We are losing that essential peace in the depths of our being, that priceless absence in which the most delicate elements of life are refreshed and comforted, while the inner creature is in some way cleansed of past and future, of present awareness, of obligations pending and expectations lying in wait." (Le Bilan de l'Intelligence)
What prompted me to copy this out? & at a time when I had no inkling of email, internet culture, Google, online newspapers, refresh buttons, iPhones, social media ...
O brave new world.