Thursday, November 12, 2009

Perhaps... (three more things at Le Légué)




Palettes, a tarp, silt-supported ferns and moss, hold down the old shed roof of undulated asbestos.  A piece of board with plastic stuck-on tiles blocks the gap below the rusted hinge, where the wood has rotted away.

Once perhaps, a woman in a blue or pink housecoat, flowered or striped, looked at the pretty new panel on her wall with admiration and appreciation; the peaches, pears, cherries and plums spilling from the blue lattice baskets, the golden grapes and soft green vine leaves framing every square, and felt a fruitful glow of promise in her life. 

Or perhaps the plasticised images of abundance taunted and depressed her.  Or perhaps she scarcely saw them, they were simply wallpaper.

But a child would have.  Hanging over the back of a rush-seated kitchen chair, counting and adding up the leaves and grapes round each edge of each tile, observing that there are three different shapes of basket, though the blue and white pattern of each is the same, that it is plums which have fallen from this one, cherries from that. 

And perhaps that grown-up child passes here now, and remarking the house restored but the shed still neglected and undealt with, and seeing the cornucopian baskets repeated over and over once more, feels again the ridges of the rush seat digging into her knees, and smells the coffee brewing, or the fish or pancakes frying, on her mother's kitchen stove.


~~~

A big black labrador type dog lopes purposefully across the road, carrying an enormous, bloody beef thigh bone almost too big for his jaws.  He looks sidelong at us but doesn't break step, and as he makes his way along the pavement a stir of thrilled amazement follows him.  Grown men make way for him with a smile; an elderly couple bend and gasp, their faces delighted 'O's which say 'What have you got there?!'; a family of small children seated round a table outside the cafe where he lives swing round and hang over the backs of their chairs to stare and point and giggle as he installs himself in a corner of the terrace and gets busy.

There is something atavistic about this intense vicarious pleasure which the sight of a dog with a good bone elicits in us; perhaps it is something to do with why we let them into the caves in the first place.

~~~

A wooden boat for sale in the marina. painted like a toybox: bright blue hull and cabin, deep red deck, yellow trim and bowsprit, a green metal box on the foredeck holding... something needful.  A little boat, on a miniature scale to the serviceable, samey fibreglass around it.

I can't really sail; I don't really 'do' boats, and wouldn't want to be doing with all the necessary things, caulking and weatherproofing and all that, but how many people passing this one and its beckoning 'A vendre' sign, wouldn't just see themselves for a moment in another life, and think to themselves 'Perhaps...'

I wonder what colour the sails are?



~~~

14 comments:

Sheila said...

What lovely reading to start my day! I need to reactivate the "perhaps" part of my brain. Maslow's hierarchy has gotten in the way lately, I think.

The first section reminds me of the "wallpaper," really a stick-on contact paper, that was in the little upstairs bathroom of my growing up days. Blue on white, little square scenes, a sailboat on one, a windmill on another, and I can't recall the others right now.

Thanks for the memory!

Rosie said...

hello m'dear...what lovely pictures you paint with word and camera. It's all in the detail!

Catalyst said...

A great imagination, Lucy, makes a great story!

Crafty Green Poet said...

wonderful photos and meditations...

marja-leena said...

wonderful details indeed - I love that worn shed door and the primary colours of that tiny boat, like a box of crayons...

Dave King said...

A superb bit of imagination . You obviously could write books at the drop of a hat! I envy you the talent.

Barrett Bonden said...

The ill-kempt door appears to be drawing moisture from the ground to create a pattern that resembles the trace output of a gas chromatograph. Even labs have their prettinesses.

You may wax lyrical about the yacht à vendre but it's terribly fragile and appears to be made out of marine ply. Hit by a modest wave I can imagine that hull denting inwards and the occupants waiting breathlessly for it to pop back outwards. If it's going to be spume through my hair give me good, old, stout-hearted plastic (GRP in fact) that will allow me to contemplate the ocean rather than run terrified and goose-winged away from it. Given the owner's colour sense the sails are almost surely brown, with a couple of artfully planted patches.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Ah you reminded me of one of those questions that strikes me whenever I see a dog alone but that I never remember to ask.

When a dog passes me when I am running or out and about, I always smile indulgently at him/her. Do dogs understand smiles, or might they think I am grimacing at them or something? Do you know?

marlyat2 said...

Lucy,

One of the pleasant things about going away for a good long time is coming back to your images!

Avus said...

ahh, the boat, Lucy. With your feelings there. I cannot even swim but sometimes when I see a sail scudding over the waves........

Lucy said...

Thanks dear friends, and welcome back the old friends!

BB - Ha ha! I knew you'd come through for me and tell me it was a rubbish boat. But perhaps I could just sail it up and down the river mouth, not go out to sea, camp in it moored up some nights, feel like a water gypsy...

RB - I don't know about smiles, Molly certainly enjoys it when we laugh, especially at her. I think dogs probably perceive good vibes, and those going about their business alone are usually independent and well-disposed characters. I wouldn't have fancied trying to take the bone off him though!

Dale said...

:-) another magical Lucy post. Thank you.

Dick said...

What a delight, Lucy. Two eyes in concert here - visual and verbal!

marly said...

"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." Must be the combination of animal-watching and boat that brought him to mind!