Sunday, June 18, 2006

I begin to go all right

More from Mr Stevenson (in a letter to Mrs Sitwell):

Barbizon, April 1875

MY DEAR FRIEND, - This is just a line to say I am well and happy. I am here in my dear forest all day in the open air. It is very be- no, not beautiful exactly, just now, but very bright and living. There are one or two song birds and a cuckoo; all the fruit-trees are in flower, and the beeches make sunshine in a shady place, I begin to go all right; you need not be vexed about my health; I really was ill at first, as bad as I have been for nearly a year; but the forest begins to work, and the air, and the sun, and the smell of the pines. If I could stay a month here, I should be as right as possible. Thanks for your letter. - Your faithful
R. L. S.

Half his luck, of course; we can't all go to France to drift in the smell of the pines. But maybe the restorative power of a place is more about our love of being in it, rather than the characteristics of the place itself. Maybe you can feel just as restored in a favourite corner of a room, or in a shop or a library or cathedral, in a boat or a park or your car, or someone else's car, or on a sports field or on a train or on flights of fancy in the most fantastic daydream you can come up with... (I don't know. I'm just trying to find a way to argue we don't all have to go to France.)

All I really want to say is Go the Socceroos (playing Brazil at the World Cup). Nothing to lose, so much to gain. Yay.


Brazil 2-0


The Socceroos played well, though. And in some inexplicable way, the fact that one of Brazil's goals was scored by someone called Fred makes it seem less bad. (Good one, Fred.)

Anyway, the most impressive thing about the whole event was the crowd's enthusiastic hollering of the Australian national anthem at the start, lurching badly out of time quite early on, but thundering home regardless. Hahaha. I was so impressed. Go Australians! We're so cute :)