This is a photograph of Ghandi in Tavistock Square in London. This is the last photo I took before I ran out of time and needed to get back on the train at King's Cross to Heathrow Airport. Or maybe this was the day before, when my camera battery died, and I wanted to go back to take pictures of the churches I saw on the bus ride back from Buckingham Palace, but I gave up and went back to Marylbone High Street for dinner, because I had figured out how to get there, and I could find a good meal. This is what happens when you don't take notes.
I do know that this is the last photo I took before leaving London, because my photos were digital, and numbered. So I did not take any photographs inside the British Library, which at the time I visited, was showing an exhibit on guess what, science fiction. I actually didn't take any photos, but I did take notes, so I'll get them out and see what I wrote. Oh, I see I took some notes at the Tate Modern, too. The next part of this post is directly from my journal, and unedited. <...> These are lacunae.
Tate Modern Notes:
Victor Pasmore - What is the Object Over There? Points of Contact No. 17
Search the shores
of an ancient land,
under the stars
along the sand;
between the pines
and cactus tree
see the stone
where the lizard sleeps
What is the object
Who is the man
by the orange tree?
The voices calling
in the square?
The light that flickers
out at sea?
Monet - Water Lilies after 1916
Pollock - Summertime: Number 9A
Diane Arbus - From a box of ten photographs
-Retired man and his wife at home in a nudist camp one morning, NJ 1963
Julian Trevelyan - Bomblet 1937
Paul Klee - Walpurgis Night 1935
Joseph Cornell - Planet Set, Tete Etoilee, Giuditta Pasta (dedicace) 195
The British Library Notes:
Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre, conclusion, hand-written
Virginia Woolf - notebook on Mrs. Dalloway
JG Ballard - Crash, type-written with marginalia scribbled in multiple colors of ballpoint ink
Angela Carter - Nights at the Circus, handwritten with neat marginalia
The Magna Carta on parchment
The Gospel of St. John on papyrus
Letter from C.S. Lewis to Mervyn Peake
10 Feb 1958 profound impression of Titus Groan and Gormenghast working on him
Mervyn Peake's illustrations of Alice!!!!
After having visited the British Museum (I think I meant the British Library), I'm once again embarrassed by the content of my journals, and the number of years I've spent writing those (full of domestic complaints) and only recently in the past three years producing anything I'd want to show to anyone. I have a choice every day - write complaints in these journals, my emotional spew, write for the blog (generally, more well organized, thematic, cleaner spew, no quite so raw, subjective, embarrassing) and something else. Or nothing. I'm not sure now I can shut off the spew nozzle, or maybe I let it flow but use it better? I do nothing with the spew now except have endlessly circular discussions that feel like I'm piling the hours of my life on a bonfire that warms others and leaves me feeling empty and cold.
K and I took half a day on our trip to London (23 - 31 Aug) to go to the Dr. Who Experience, which was a kid's amusement type walk through kind of like Disney's haunted mansion only much simpler, and no cars, mostly a recorded guided tour of a Dr. Who themed funhouse. Bought "sonic screwdriver pen" and wondering if this is last trip where K will be sort of a little girl for part. Last night, she met up with a Russian boy who organized a rendezvous (having planned a trip to London prior to meeting K, but organized timeline to coincide). (Redacted) is his name. Must get last name.
Perhaps there is a secret to this. If I'm moved to write anything resembling 'Oh my god I can't/haven't been, won't be' etc., I will think about what I see right in front of me and write about that. My slightly queasy stomach, sitting in muddy straw somewhere in Sheeptown, England, listening to the Deftones, getting ready for the Offspring, melancholy texts from (redacted), deliberating over My Chemical Romance and going back to the hotel before Noah and the Whale.
It was a joyful thing, to go to the British Library and see a science fiction exhibit, with manuscripts from so many SF luminaries, and a model Tardis and K-9, the musical score for the theme song, hand written. And the Peake exhibit, so fulfilling. (journal stop)
That's all I wrote about the British Library. I lingered at the Peake exhibit for as long as I could, looking at the drawings, and wanting so much to transcribe the entire letter from C.S. Lewis to Peake, but my daughter was restless, and wanted to wait in the train station, closer to the travel. I satisfied some of my hunger by purchasing some note cards with Peake's drawings, and buying a book of his silly verses. I'll write a blog post on those things, later.
I have more London in the journal, for later. The lesson I learned writing this blog post is that I must take better notes, and I must remember to take photographs, and I must write from the notes while I'm in the midst of travel, not after.
I will do better next time.