Human Flower Project
Sunday, October 11, 2009
October in the Sun
Heps, skullers, and “The true joy of the long dead child” from John Levett’s almanac.
Essay and photos by John Levett
It’s late Friday afternoon. I’m sitting on the bed looking across the Close where I live. I’m looking through the condensation on the window. The condensation tells me that it’s about the time of the year to switch the heating back on to low. There are few resentments in my life; paying money to energy companies is one of them so I switch off from May to October, patch up heavy-duty socks, upgrade to a thick top and start shutting doors.
On the desk below the window is a pile of books. It’s only twenty days to go before The Long Dark. The Long Dark lasts from November to the end of February. It’s the time for all those things that get pushed to the back burner when long walks, cycling days, rose fussing, garden visiting and sunset gazing take over. Mostly it’s study time—keeping the brain in gear, clearing the bookshelf of the unread, planning the listening. This year I’m going back to Kolakowski & ‘Main Currents of Marxism.’ He was one of the great writers of the last century and ‘Main Currents …’ was his greatest piece, his greatest challenge. I’m also re-reading Hobsbawm, Christopher Hill and Edward Thompson. It’s as much an exercise in how history has been written as the history itself. I’m reading Shaw and Nietzsche on Wagner too. I listen to a lot of opera during The Long Dark, go to a lot of films, go to dance, go to theatre. Most of The Long Dark is what I owe to the left side of my brain.