“Woman to Women”
Tereza knew the importance of supporting other women. She knew what sisterhood meant in families and communities. She well understood that in order to receive respect then you must give it. She worked everyday to build her special bond with them. These women were her family away from family. There was friendship, love and most importantly reliability amongst them. She bonded with them for life. And she knew that it wasn’t by judging one another, but accepting each other’s differences and embracing them would help her become a better person.
L’année dernière je ne pouvais pas voir ces fleurs pendant le confinement. Ça m’a manqué. Ce printemps, je voulais retourner dans mon pays pour voir les fleurs de cerisiers de vrais somei yoshino (une race très typique au Japon. On ne la voit pas ici en Europe) mais 2 semaines de quarantaine obligées et le manque de finance m’ont empêché d’y partir. J’ai renoncé à ce projet. Je reste en France. La situation de la covid ne s’améliore pas vraiment mais avec patience, oui il faut être toujours patient, les gens apprécient plus l’arrivée du printemps. On ne reste pas toujours dans un mauvais temps. En étant masqués, ils goûtent quand même cette saison éphémère. J’ai senti un petit bonheur ensoleillé en pédalant sur le quai de la Seine. Je suis sortie d’un long tunnel.
Once a year the white domestic paint that will gradually vanish outdoors, was to be refreshed, a layer of this vulnerable surface would accumulate the traces of passage by future visitors.
A year on.
‘Maybe it’s the quality of the experience of/with art that will be important, not the object. What has happened to looking at art? The context is everything, the chatter is still there, but doesn’t sound the same.’ (April 2020)
The letters and conversations have helped give the weeks a shape, if not the hours, or days or months, and certainly couldn’t be expected to shape a whole year. ‘The Crown Letter has been a lifeline.’ Not quite an overstatement. We cast lines, threads of conversation and other matter, a few notes of bird and other song, many words, leaves, streets, stones and shadows. The letters are for each other, often, or reaching for others, or for the world glimpsed through the haze. Or perhaps a letter is sometimes a gift or a kiss to ourselves in a future too hard to contemplate as we rock from fear, or grief to hope and back, from one side of the room to another, or roll up and down the stairs, the hills, the streets.
I’m not sure I can bear to look back at the year this minute. Birthdays bring one up against hard time, dates, and memorials. There’s so much going on just now, unresolved or still to reckon with. I’ll let the thoughts come unbid, worked out in my sleep or other drifting off time. Instead, these spring flowers herald new life in the garden that has fed my family with tomatoes, apples, quinces, chard, sage, rosemary, chives and mint, and cheered me throughout the year.
Instead of a cake, here is a birthday garden for the Crown Letter.
Nous pourrions compter les étincelles comme autant de désirs perdus, à venir, retrouvés.
We could count the sparks as many lost,future, found desires.
I have barely entered the city centre for a year, since I shut up my studio last March. This city exaggerates a separation between the centre and the outlying areas at the best of times, ruptured at the north and west by a large motorway, an abandoned ring road that never achieved full circle. Entire neighbourhoods were excavated and now caverns of underpasses and motorway bridges must be broached to cross from the land of leafy parks and University where I live to the downtown city proper. The centre is laid out on a grid, with high tenements that block the light, empty lots and sudden mirrored high rises like parts of New York, or Chicago. This year I have worked at home. I have avoided the studio and have not been taking trains, the concert halls are shut, so I have no reason to go into the city centre, and I fear it. I picture deserted buildings, silent streets where only the junkies are left, scavenging emptiness.
Au début, les chefs prirent des criminels et des voyous pour conduire les carrioles, des types qui n’avaient jamais attelé un cheval de leur vie. Des fainéants. Ils ne savaient que tricher aux cartes et tirer le couteau. Par jeu, ils assassinaient les gens dont la tête ne leur revenait pas. Ils avaient sûrement dans l’idée de voler les chevaux et de s’enfuir avec.