Hey, saying by just while their worth truly something … huh? I’ll rewind that later and start again by going back:
Hi D, K here. I got your number from A I hope that’s ok. How are you? Do you want to go out sometime?
No-one had ever sent a text to ask me out. More than a hundred characters too. I agreed to a drink. By text. It seemed heavy-handed to expect K to lift the phone as far as her ear just to hear me say ‘friends’ and I didn’t want to say yes in case talking on the phone was misinterpreted as an escalatory signal.
Two weeks later K texted me to cancel what was, by then, our twice-rescheduled rendezvous. She was dating someone else. It is a simple fact that we haven’t spoken since we saw each other at a friend’s dinner party a few days before her first message.
The episode was like a dream where part of your life unfolds in a different reality to the one you know and you realise, when it is over, that something good in the world has died. Continue reading
Marc Chagall, Lovers of Vence, 1957
As anyone unwillingly single bites down on their resolution of getting together with someone they like this year, on-line dating sites are advertising themselves across the commercial networks.
On-line dating is, of course, an oxymoronic convenience of modern communication that debases humanity. It starts by keeping people apart, and tries to convince lonely hearts that the best way to find someone to love is sitting with a computer or that other oxymoronic convenience, the smartphone, rather than sitting with someone else.
On-line dating starts with the obvious irony, which not many see apparently, that it connects people with the one common interest that keeps them apart in the first place – the Internet.
The BBC is running a story today that the Cuban government has removed the need for its citizens to have an exit permit to travel abroad. There are many beginnings, even to ends, but this is another because ends the Cuban idyll for all which Castro established when he won power in 1959 and restricted foreign travel.
The restriction’s lifting reminds me of Milan Kundera’s Book of Laughter and Forgetting, a stinging critique of Communist government in Czechoslovakia, first published in Czech in 1978 and in English translation in 1980. In the first section of his novel “Lost Letters”, he writes of the idyll for all:
The Tarrawarra Museum of Art’s retrospective of Jeffrey Smart’s work from 1940-2011 shows Smart as an interpreter of solitude and the relationship between people and their built environment, and as an artist who successfully synthesised traditional perspective with the flat and abstract planes of early 20th century modernist painting that eventually destroyed it.
In almost seamlessly bringing these two bookends of western art history together, Smart subtly marries a range of contradictions or dualities on his canvasses: urban landscape and minuscule portraiture in the Portrait of Clive James, the silence of modern communications and invisible movement in the Control Tower and The Listeners, and crossed relations between the direction of perspective and light in Morning Practice, Baia and The Vacant Allotment.