Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday in the Highlands

Deep snow-drifts on the hills today, and a beautiful light gleaming through the clouds, with glorious splashes of blue sky. While we walked, the sun was mostly shining, but then came a light scattering of snowflakes, which has grown heavier as the afternoon goes on. All is quiet, and like the beginning of a fairytale; the snow still falling, the silence unbroken.
Inside the house, the hyacinths scent the air, which has reminded me of The Waste Land (and doesn't T.S. Eliot seem appropriate reading on Good Friday?):

"You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
They called me the hyacinth girl."
-- Yet when we came back, late, from the hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

While I was gone...

I am so happy to be back in the Highlands again, after a month of fashion shows and travelling (New York, London, Milan, Paris...) If any of you have been reading Harper's Bazaar, you'll know something of what I have been doing there as the editor (you can read more here and here), and I have finally succumbed to twitter (@JPicardie). But I suppose what might not be apparent in those mediums is all the other, more internal thoughts that have been skittering through my mind. Like:  When will the daffodils finally emerge in Tillypronie? Did the mice eat all the crocus bulbs in the garden? Why is it still snowing in March? And where did Louis MacNeice write this poem about snow?

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes -
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands -
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

Is that not a wonderful poem? In the room where I am writing, there are no roses, but a bowl of sweet-scented blue hyacinths. The snow outside is silent, but I am going to light a fire, and curl up in front of it with the dog and my beloved...