Saturday, 28 August 2010

TGV to Geneva

By an incredible stroke of good fortune I was invited to the writers' residence at Chateau de Lavigny, Switzerland. I travelled there in my usual slow fashion, overnight coach to London, then via ferry to Paris, and at the Gare de Lyon took the TGV – which was not slow at all – to Morges, via Geneva. Met at Morges by S K, then driven here. It is a marvellous building, with a superb garden. The terrasse near my room looks down onto the courtyard, decorated in patterned cobblestones. One of the doors is wood, painted blue-grey with a decorative rising sun on the topmost part. On the walls are trellises with pink roses hanging outwards, nodding their heads slightly.

The room names are Rowohlt, Nabokov, Faulker, Hemingway and Camus. My room is Camus.

The afternoon of my arrival I walked to Aubonne, set on a hill, with narrow streets and a pristine appearance. It looks down on Lac Léman. Beyond the lake are the mountains, most of them misty blue, some snow-covered - from this distance, irregular protuberances, like spikes set in a wall by some half-asleep designer trying out new shapes, idly experimenting with something between defence and artistry....

I am also experimenting with 'not-tanka', that is, short poems that may resemble tanka but are not. Equally, the idea of keeping a tanka journal is appealing, or rather a not-tanka journal, which I could call 'Comme un Journal Tanka' [after a Paris bookshop called 'Comme Un Roman'.]

So here is one about the mountains:

Spikes rise up behind the lake -
bluish-grey or icy white.
These peaks I realise, are fingers
of a giant hand.
I am ringed by a benevolence of mountains.

And roses:

The roses in the courtyard
cling to the trelliswork, pink flowers
against a map of green.
In this mountain protectorate
we lean against giant profiles


three sea horses said...

i have just read through all your most recent blog entries - i have not been on my blog for so long.
so good to read it all - so much there, rich imagery.
i shall think of you over there in that lovely place! stay in touch - blog more please .. lots of love Txx

mahesh said...

I read the blog of your journey to Chateau da Lavigny. Since I am sharing these moments of our stay at the Chateau, I can authoritatively say how close to reality are your feelings and their description. Thanks for all the photographs which will be a treasure for nostalgic reminiscenses when we leave this heaven on earth.
Mahesh Chandra Dewedy

dritanje said...

Thank you Mahesh for your kind comments. It is truly a wondrous place and I will post more photos in the days to come, which I hope as you say, will remind all of us of this special time