No snow here, but snow everywhere at home.
The steady tug of homesickness abated for a while last week, when my parents came to visit. Unfortunately, the worst snows in forty years kept them two days longer in the UK. Still I am envious for that kind of weather, desirous of standing in the warm glow of a high ceilinged room while the flakes birl and eddie down the sandstone corridors of the tenement streets. Something out of an Edward Hopper painting, but more human and kind. Something out of my old life, in Glasgow.
This kind of nostalgia feels like a sin, when I’m in one of the great cities of the world, but at the same time, it’s my bread and butter. I have already put the nostalgia impulse to good use in Kilea, and now it rears its head again, I cannot ignore it totally. Urges, addictions, infatuations, peccadilloes: a cluster of traits associated for me at least with Writing and being writerly. I do not agree with Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs – art is not way up on the pyramid, not the little cap of things to do when all is well with you, but a molten stone that is carried all the time. Perhaps not while dying of thirst, say, but if you were deprived of all other condolences; settled shelter, family, respect from others, I would argue that the need to write –speak, cry out –would be almost too agonising to ignore.
Now that sounds like I believe myself without family, respect, shelter…not at all. I do feel rather on the knife edge of the ridge, however, between the rich abyss of the past and the invisible, incorporeal future. I hope to have some word of news on this in a short while, but don’t hold your breath. Good advice. Always swim with your head above water, you never know when you’ll need that cold sweet air in your lungs.