Tuesday, April 21, 2020

when us sisters were children there was an Anna.
Where she lived there was an old public bathhouse, that was as if Roman
(only this one laid almost forgotten in the elbow of a Nordic village),
with stone pillars and its pool filling almost the whole
of the, for its purpose, rather small house.
Along both sides of the pool huddled, in long rows with
old wooden doors, the tiny changing rooms lacking walls against the
actual common area. Nudity in a goldfish bowl, a sauna that was;
areawise the smallest ever, but tall as a church steeple.
Anna had white carrier-pigeons that she sent off as we savoured her
homemade, tangy apple pie with the smoothest vanilla sauce.
Your pappa's grandfather had white pigeons too.
Although Bapou Daki (grandpa Daki in greek) had his for racing.
At that point, he was an old man with a carnation forever in his lapel.
The East End clubs of London, molotov cocktails and gangster
moves behind him only in the wings of his own history.

These photographs don't really have anything to do with all that, I know.
But we shot these for 'House of Paloma' and whenever I hear
the word paloma I think of Anna and nowadays also Bapou Daki
and I sometimes wish then, that you too could have lived
in the same era.

'House of Paloma' is a big childrenswear favourite for me 
and this is their 'Gigi set' in natural linen
(with lining in silly soft cotton), and the boots are
from another favourite, - danish petit nord.


Friday, March 20, 2020

"We would be together
and have our books and at night 
be warm in bed together with 
the windows open and the stars bright."

I want us to go more the Hemingway (pun absolutely intended)
with our nights. Even if admittedly ours are very much together,
candlelight and even the open windows, there is a bit more cold light
from screens than starlight, and books between us in bed.
I wish us a more of that magic that lives between book pages.
I have always read a lot, come from a family of readers,
and want very much to pass the love of reading on to Cassius.

Probably needless to say the kid is not sitting reading on his own.
He is four years old and recognises his own name, mouths it from the letters
when he sees them. But he was, for some unreadable reason, 
deeply absorbed in Sierra DeMulder's We Slept Here that was laying
around on our bed. I wonder so what goes through his mind
when he departs like that. The details were in cahoots nonetheless,
an exemplary moment for a photograph.

How I read myself has changed lately.
I read more poetry than I used to. I also feverishly fold
more dogears than ever before and in almost everything I read,
and write down more sentences I want to remember in notes.
We are gratefully healthy, so the fever is over the words
and where they take me. Perhaps some of them
can inspire someone else other than me.

And so, this is my bedside table reading stack
at the moment, from top to bottom.
"Societies in which women have lots of autonomy and authority
tend to be decidedly male-friendly, relaxed, tolerant, and plenty sexy.
Got that, fellas? If you're unhappy at the amount of sexual opportunity
in your life, don't blame the women. Instead, make sure they have
equal access to power, wealth, and status. Then watch what happens."

- Cacilda Jethá (& Christopher Ryan),
Sex at Dawn
Jonathan Simons,
Songs of Waking (Poems)

"We would all like to believe we came from nowhere but ourselves,
every gesture is our own. But then we find we belong to the history and fate
of a long line of beings that also may have wished to be free."

- Patti Smith,
(from the 'Why I Write' series)
I'm curious about author Simon Van Booy and started
with buying this one, that now already has quite a few dogears.

"I wonder if things can happen too early or too late or
if everything happens at exactly the right time.
If so, how sad and beautiful."

"I want to do things for people they will never forget.
Maybe that's the best thing I can do in life."

"It's true the people we meet shape us. But the people
we don't meet shape us also, often more because we have
imagined them so vividly.

There are people we yearn for but never seem to meet."

- Simon Van Booy,
The Secret Life of People in Love
'The Man who Planted Trees' is one of my favourite books
ever since my father gave me a copy many years ago.
I lost that one during one of my many moves,
and now felt I had to both own, and reread it.

"For a human character to reveal truly exceptional qualities,
one must have the good fortune to be able to observe
its performance over many years. If this performance is
devoid of all egoism, if its guiding motive is unparalleled generosity,
if it is absolutely certain that there is no thought of recompense and that,
in addition, it has left its visible mark upon the earth,
then there can be no mistake."

- Jean Giono,
The Man who Planted Trees
Several scattered sentences in my notes were by Ocean Vuong
I realised, so I wanted to try reading something of his.

"The most beautiful part of your body
is where it's headed.
& remember, / loneliness is still time spent /
with the world."

- Ocean Vuong,

I hope this finds you healthy and with more hope than despair.
And if you have a book or an author you want to suggest,
or anything that can inspire in these uncertain times for that matter,
- pass the poetry, please..!

hannah x


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Only one sentence I come across will do. Sticks. Holds, and holds me.

Make sure you stock up on

The rest of it; the silence, has to be translated only in photos from
a part of our home. Worn, white polka dot wallpaper that someone else
chose once (and, I realise seeing it like this, in pale and white, - a colour scheme
that is in interlude too), a winter that doesn't want to invite spring yet,
and a boy that doesn't understand the word virus as I try to
put it into words why everyone is staying at home so much, us too.
Make sure you stock up on

earthly matters | cassius's bed, bedding and canopy
are all from bonét et bonét, his hula-hoop was seasonally arranged
by the lovely emma of thistle by nature - flower delivery by bike in all
kinds of weather - for us, and the shell pillows are by
wonder woman tamar mogendorff


Thursday, March 12, 2020

I ask myself what will they remember when I am gone 
or when they are grown and cradling the hurts of their own childhood.
I wonder which pieces of this magnificent, messy effort will be worthy of recall
and which will fall by the wayside, detritus of days lived in the sunset
colours of our love for them. I know that much, if not most, will be packed away
in the recesses of what I hope they think of as a happy childhood.
Will moving be one of the sharp shards they carry gingerly? Angrily?
Perhaps tenderly? Will they demand explanation and reasons
for the wanderings of my heart? Will I have any?

Hillary BowenA Home
This piece of writing rings in me as his laughter echoes between the pavilions.
I don't remember learning to ride a bicycle. As I think of it now, I can't
remember cycling at all as a child, even if of course I know I did.
To me much, if not most, is packed away in recesses of what I think of as a,
if not happy, then beautiful, - childhood.

What I remember is my mother's stunning feet. Bronzed and
glittering between the water's surface and the jetty, they were
my benchmark in the lake where I learnt how to swim.
The one which held sway to blood-red water lilies and pappa's
tortoiseshell glasses forever lost from a rowing boat.

What I remember is the light over the lake.
What I remember is pappa angling over me, blotting out the light,
where I lay on the asphalt after having fallen backwards from a truck.
I remember how he lifted me up and carried me laying over and in his arms,
up to the still empty apartment, where we were helping a friend move in.
I remember my body against the aged parquet flooring and that I felt,
just the way it used to look like it felt when a contused cartoon character
developed as if a halo of chirping birds and flickering stars
circling in a delirious dance around their head.

I don't remember us ever visiting that flat again.

I remember it as the summer I then spent laying under white sheets
hung like a veillike nordic bedouin tent between the appletrees, resting after
my cyclopean concussion. What I remember is the tree's shadows caressing
the linen, how they arched over me like nurses on guard.

What I remember is the gargantuan Giant Hogweeds skirting the railway.
I remember their flowers being so alluringly airy, in dainty white
against the gloomy dark tracks. And I remember them standing there
seductively; dressed in mamma and pappa's premonitions.
'Bear hogweed'. Poison. Burns.

I don't remember any cautions about the trains
that roared passed there through our parts of the woods.
Every Giant Hogweed was a storm bird, a rumble in themselves.

It was the time when we lived in that vast
turn of the century house with a round, budding tower room and
almost too many other rooms to hide in; to disappear in.
The ageing beauty had several staircases, with dark wooden bannisters
worn to soft perfection by the hands and the years moving by,
much too tempting to resist straddling and sliding down.

Once, there was a large brown bear rug with a mounted head,
thrown sprawling in an open skip in the neighbour's driveway.
Its jaws were open in a now forever soundless growl and its eyes
blind by glass. We saw it from where we were laying on our bellies,
up on our sun-warmed garage roof eating sticky plums
scattered there with us from nearby branches.
'Bear Hogweed'. Damnation. Brownbear.

I remember it as an instantaneous sensation,
invisible but dense and my very first, - suspicion that man is
more dangerous than any speeding train or toxic flower.
What is it that you remember..?

cassius's first bicycle is from banwood
(i wonder if he'll remember learning to ride a bike.)