Saturday, July 17, 2010

my summer vacation

Elena's back yard

Two weeks away:  time with my sisters H, N, and twin sister Jt, and with light and ocean, garden flowers and big old cypresses.  We walked a lot, we laughed a lot.  Color all around, carried with us even onto the highways and in the airports.

Coming back in the airplane I watched pools and wafts and points of darkness and lights, moving and changing in and out of patterns.  Fields of night and lights.  A bright crescent moon shone alongside for awhile.

The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald I read, travelled with.  There is a passage about memory reaching back, and forth into the present and perhaps beyond, and that memory meanders, foggy, sometimes clear.  I cannot find the passage.  The book is terrific, a dazzlingly rich field of greys and grey-surrounded points of fact/fiction/memory.  Oh here is the passage, from the fourth and final emigrant memoir, "Max Ferber":

     If I think back nowadays to our childhood in Steinbach (Luisa's memoirs continue at another point), it often seems as if it had been open-ended time, in every direction--indeed, as if it were still going on, right into these lines I am now writing.

This passage goes on for awhile, Luisa remembering the path and the kind of memories of her childhood and adulthood, all within the frame of her son Max's memories, as told to the nameless younger narrator of "Max Ferber" who grows older as we travel with him, we readers.   Luisa is remembering even as her world in her present-day Germany becomes narrower and narrower.  (The passage does not include fogginess; I got that wrong, yet fogginess, greyness are abiding motifs throughout the book.)

What a lot of layers and movement--in fields of color, night, or grey--there are in moments of memory.

No comments:

Post a Comment