a leaf

September is my favourite time of year. It’s a turning point in the seasons as summer greens relent into the burnished reds, yellows and brown of autumn. It’s like the first strands of grey appearing in a familiar hairline, reassured in the knowledge that much of the year is behind us.

As the mornings grow darker and colder I have decided to read a book a week. Not just any book or new books, but books that have been waiting patiently for me for years. Books that have moved from one household to the next sometimes remaining in their boxes until the next move.

This week I read ‘A Bigger Message: conversations with David Hockney‘ and it has opened my eyes to nature, light and time and the connection between them. How painting is essentially an archive of the memory of looking, over and over again, changing from one ‘look’ to another – a painting therefore is not just a snapshot in time but a memory, an emblem of the human mind made flesh.

This is what a human brings to the world a particular way of seeing and remembering. And it seems to be this relationship between past and future that we seem forever caught up in. Sometimes I wonder if there is any ‘present’ moment at all.. as soon as you acknowledge it or commit it to memory, it has past already. I wonder if this explains something of our obsession with photography.

Whilst writing this I saw a scene that I would return to ‘felled birch trees, viewed from a moving train‘. I will never forget it. Several birch lying at opposing diagonals to one another, all up-ended and exposing their roots, as if they have all been unearthed by the same thing at the same time. Thinking about screenwriting I think this is what an action line must be – it must evoke a feeling of what happened – and the art of achieving that is in the editing and re-writing of the words.

And that leads me onto the next book I want to read. ‘the feeling of what happens‘ by Antonio Damasio. I hope it’s still waiting for me somewhere!


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