12.01.07 – musings on Banville

Today I read Banville’s book (“The Sea”) at one sitting. How could I not? After Faulks, he comes like spring after winter. Every page had me thinking of Chris, us, and wishing she were here to talk about it.

After a sad family loss my Sydney crew mate Andrew has been wanting to talk to me about grief. More particularly, his inability to comprehend and cope with his wife’s distress. I don’t know why me. Being able to tie a bowline in the dark better than he can doesn’t give me any understanding of human nature. I might recommend this book to him. Not for answers but insights into bereavement. Reasons why she might seem inaccessible, inconsolable. The self-centred loneliness, the anger, the guilt and the sense of abandonment.

Late afternoon, ghosting over a glassy sea, grey, heaving only gently. The sea that is, not me – echoes of a distant tempest, far to the south. Here inside it is warm and dry.

I just can’t think what to cook for dinner. I ate half a kilo of almonds during Banville, so any further food today can only be excessive. I won’t bake bread till tomorrow when we get better wind, so that the oven can keep us snug after the engine’s off.

Now to bed with Marilynne Robinson.

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