Wednesday, 3 June 2009

So, this morning, I am out to sea. The radio ushers in tragic news - the airliner has been found, wrecked in the Atlantic. EU elections take place, the US president visits the Middle East, the Labour government of home is unravelling. These events take place not as a backdrop, but as happenings in front of a steadily increasing set of coincidences that contain the day.

An early start then, drifting out into the calm sea of the day, wary. Buoyed by lucid dreams, I set out for a day of writing. In those dreams enormous high-rise housing blocks set out the parameters of sleep. Cast from a mould of post-war brutalism, I see now rising concrete levels, open perpendicular walkways and damp passages, literally crumbling. Blueprinted like a capital H, each of the wings rises some twenty stories tall. Above ten stories, the building precedes in steps so that one feels they could walk up the front of this giant structure. Large open areas preside at the front of these steps, way above the ground, railed off with trees growing from between split surfaces.

More than this though; there is more than this. The buildings exist in some unknown European capital, a city divided by nations. The Dutch and French sectors lie nearby, though English is spoken as the dominant tongue. Two underground metro stops are in the area, Sevigney and Towers. Some kilometres down the hill, a sea-wall looms high above the harbour, guarding a new strip of asphalt, so new that cars are permitted only to travel on one side - the left. On a corner, overlooking the waters, a massive old department store has been recently redeveloped, standing firm amongst surroundings recently razed. A road has been diverted away from the foundations of the building, for security.

The apartment itself is filthy, like rust-stained ceramic. Doorways and window-frames are rectangles with curved corners and pronounced sills. It is large with three rooms arranged in an L. The third and final room offers an aspect out into the heart of the complex, the only light from within provided by a dim bare bulb dangling from the ceiling. Whatever happened within those walls, I dare not speak its name. I have seen this before, and indeed, will see it again before the day is out.

What chance that coincidence is not random, nor even a game of probabilities but in fact a accidental revelation of the structures that govern all action? Where was that weblog in which the author wrote down every single coincidence that occured in reach of him?

Another literary weblog, The Reading Experience, has an author with the same name as a best friend. In today's post my attention is raised by a Appelfeld book I did not know of, whose title is the same as that best friend's music project - Laish. On the internet, I listen to a project involving harp by Beatrice Martini. In the same minute, I look down and see her name in a magazine. Numbers keep aligning, on clocks, pages, track timings, pieces of paper - repetitive numerals are staking out my day. The hammering outside is in perfect accord with my stereo's music.

Unfathomable, elusive rules that provide a basis within which the illusions of choice are allowed and entirely determined. The calm sea of the day is maintained only by giant current beneath, great secretive movements of water that sweep over continental shelves unseen. This is the day.

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