Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Essential danger and fright

15/4/12 Reading The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal, come upon a quote from the radical German poet Rilke, which seems to apply to my life right now, and probably to the lives of any one else “in remission” from some catastrophe. It offers a great deal of consolation: “all art is the result of one’s having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end, where no one can go any further.” You have to live like a bird before an “anxious launching of himself on the floods where he is gently caught.” Rilke also says flatly: “You must change your life.” One must never get too cosy. Well cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, childlessness changes it for you, a slow creep of despair and what feels like inevitable decline. But I remember when I had a very good job, lots of money coming in. I lived in a kind of bubble and that was terrible. I fretted endlessly that there must be more too it, longed to change my life somehow, endlessly postponing doing anything about it. Then I was sued by Diana Rigg and sacked, so that did it for me. Of course once you’ve changed your life you are destroyed in different ways.

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