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I Live Here Now

I Live Here Now

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Slowly they disperse and I sit back on a bench and watch a small child’s face appear and vanish repeatedly along the line of tall windows in the Victorian school as they pull the blinds shut. I hope that when we go back Nadia might have made her way home, that the war will be over and that things can begin to be mended.

Under the tarpaulin awning this year there is an array of fiddlers of all ages, young pale freckled faces and older, rough red cheeked and white haired. This time the limbo is swelled by the strange weather, this sun that burns too strongly for Scotland in August, whose heat feels wrong, too much. The sun slices into the space from one of the streets: six straight lines that enter, or lead away from the circle like rays on a drawing of a sun, on this day of almost equinox. She has spoken and led sessions on Drawing and the City at conferences in Glasgow, Moscow and Paris. First attempts at walking drawing: I chose a selection of pencils before I set out and then changed the colour of the pencils instinctively during drawing.Among them, I suppose, was the book that I had watched the woman reading one early sleepless morning at the end of the summer, when the sun still rose early.

She is looking for places to go away to, but there is nowhere to stay in the UK, everything is booked or exorbitant.

I found this flat deeply reassuring when I lived in Moscow as a student, and loved the many times when we sat about until it was late and they said to stay the night, and made up the narrow hard bed in the far room under the shelves of Mandelstam and Gumilev, where I slept and dreamed much more deeply than at our student hostel, anticipating the languorous next day of slowly getting up and drinking tea, and more and more conversation.

I make drawing after drawing, sometimes by eye, but mostly trying to measure it, and it continues to elude me. I push my head into the water, breaking the skin of it and dipping below the surface that reflects the purplish storm sky above. Instead I take cues from my surroundings; slowing to the rhythm of light, air and sound, trying to establish where I am in space through the echoes in the back court: the burr of wood pigeons and the soft melodic cough of the man in the flat below. Nadia, me, my children — to and fro and round about with the person opposite and the person by your side and then moving as a four, on to the next line. I had never seen such a gathering, but realised that they must have been blown down from the gutters, or the slate rooftops by the lifting winds.I saw them from train windows, in car parks, on traffic islands and even masquerading as a trimmed boxed hedge around a housing estate. Prints of one of these bandstand drawings are being sold in the café on the street below, where his father’s bakery once stood, to fund a campaign to save the circus from being dug up and “re-landscaped” by the local council. I walked there in the rain, warm yellow of birch and plane leaves, acid yellow of high vis jackets of the police guarding the barrier.

Here, it was clear, on our street, there had been a failure of care — a blanketed stretcher brought out in the early hours of Christmas morning.I was reading this mail, and listening to the voice of my own father, who has commentated on television broadcasts of the Remembrance ceremony for several decades.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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