Saturday, 14 August 2010

Post-Launch and The Shore

The launch of Time Loop at Wordpower Bookshop - Jeff Merrifield, publisher, author and playwright

Post-launch, post grand cross. Two bunches of flowers on the kitchen table. It all seems filmic now, and while I did not have to rush across town to any car rental place, I have an image in my mind of Kemal carrying a box of books to the car, coming back and carrying a box of wine bottles, some empty, some full and then having to go back to get some of the full ones and taking them to the restaurant, the Nile Valley, where several of us went afterwards. It rained, and people came into the bookshop with wet coats and wet hair. Some of the images are etched, stamped with vividness. I imagine the memory-stamping angel, all inky-fingered, bustling, busy, adoring to be so fully occupied, catching glimpses and gestures, the open-hearted moments, the generosity, when all the doors are opened, and while the members of the party come into the bookshop, damp with rain, the recording angel of the heart moves deftly among the lights – the light coming in through the window at the front and the one at the back, the shop lights, the lights reflected from hair shiny with rain, from glasses held in hands, from all reflected surfaces, badges, spectacles, glossy book covers, the metal microphone, the stamping angel flits effortlessly among the people, because light is its medium of travel.

The next day I went with Maureen and Kemal to The Shore, and watch a cormorant in the water, its black head on its long thin neck, rising out of the water, taking a gulp of air one imagines, then plunging down, beak-first, underwater, holding its bird breath and re-emerging a few meters away. The sun coming out, fierce and unexpected in Leith Walk and we shed clothes like autumn leaves, turning our faces to its hot face.

Out of the Blue Hall, with its glass panels on the roof so it is filled with startling light. And Alastair Cook's glorious photographs of sea and land, of spiky-grass trail
s through sand dunes of sky joining sea and land and all the space of ocean in there. More images here on Alastair's blog.
Walking back to the Shore we discover a peaceful church with a stone angel guardian in the grass opposite. A st
reet of Victorian architecture copying Georgian, bay turrets, a sculpted ram's head, and wide alley entrances, wide enough for carriages drawn by horses, to pass through. Sky a cloudless blue. And back on The Shore, in among the upmarket restaurants and the new flats with balconies, an old wall on the cobbled street looking out over the water.

Tuesday was the reading at St John's Church, an ongoing series called the Golden Thread. Thursday was Blackwells Bookshop and tomorrow is at Beyond Borders, Traquair House.

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