Car parks - a sad music
Tomorrow I am reading in Bangor, a good eight plus hours away. This morning I was working on the Finzi lecture for Reading on 6 March, which is coming along quite well. Then a phone call, an emergency, and we drive down to Hertfordshire where C's mother has been taken because of difficulty breathing. I don't want to give details here, but we feared the worst. We spent some five hours there and no change, and none expected for the better. Not the worst then but not good. So we are home.
I think of these lines from The Building by Philip Larkin
This new thing held in common makes them quiet,
For past these doors are rooms, and rooms past those,
And more rooms yet, each one further off
And harder to return from; and who knows
Which he will see, and when?
Your loves, your chances, are beyond the stretch
Of any hand from here!
...Each gets up and goes
At last. Some will be out by lunch, or four;
Others, not knowing it, have come to join
The unseen congregations whose white rows
Lie set apart above - women, men;
Old, young; crude facets of the only coin
This place accepts..
.....That is what it means,
This clean-sliced cliff
Too hot, too sparse, too clean, too dirty, those clean-sized cliffs remain austere whatever 'wasteful weak propitiatory flowers' appear in them. A walk through the car park and the thought of sad music, the sad music of car parks that is, arrives and goes. Arrives and goes like the everyday, sometimes kindly, business which is what this building deals with. Business at any rate.