Monthly Archives: April 2023

April teaches us everything

“April. It teaches us everything. The coldest and nastiest days of the year can happen in April. It won’t matter. It’s April. The English word for the month comes from the Roman Aprilis, the Latin aperire: to open, to uncover, to make accessible, or to remove whatever stops something from being accessible. It maybe also partly comes from the name of Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, whose happy fickleness with various gods mirrors the month’s own showery-sunny fickleness. Month of sacrifice and month of playfulness. Month of restoration, of fertility-festivity. Month when the earth and the buds are already open, the creatures asleep for the winter have woken and are already breeding, the birds have already built their nests, birds that this time last year didn’t exist, busy bringing to life the birds that’ll replace them this time next year. Spring-cuckoo month, grass-month. In Gaelic its name means the month that fools mistake for May. April Fool’s Day also probably marks what was the old end of the new year celebrations. Winter has Epiphany. Spring’s gifts are different. Month of dead deities coming back to life. In the French revolutionary calendar, along with the last days of March, it becomes Germinal, the month of return to the source, to the seed, to the germ of things, which is maybe why Zola gave the novel he wrote about hopeless hope this revolutionary title. April the anarchic, the final month, of spring the great connective.” – Ali Smith

Art – Claude Monet, Spring in Giverny, Morning Effect

World Book and Copyright Day!

“Men had always been the reciters of poetry in the desert.”

For World Book Day I nominate the book that made me travel. The words were so powerful that made me live in the truth of its images, walk the paths of love, anger and anguish of the telltale hearts roaming a world without maps… And I felt the desert, dissipating in my veins, the blood throbbed of life and traveling sand.

“The desert could not be claimed or owned–it was a piece of cloth carried by winds, never held down by stones, and given a hundred shifting names… Its caravans, those strange rambling feasts and cultures, left nothing behind, not an ember. All of us, even those with European homes and children in the distance, wished to remove the clothing of our countries. It was a place of faith. We disappeared into landscape.”
– Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Out of Africa

“The sky was rarely more than pale blue or violet, with a profusion of mighty, weightless, ever-changing clouds towering up and sailing on it, but it has blue vigour in it, and at a short distance it painted the ranges of hills and the woods a fresh deep blue.”
– from Out Of Africa by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) – born 17 April 1885

Summer Love

“We can’t possibly have a summer love. So many people have tried that the name’s become proverbial. Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It’s a sad season of life without growth…It has no day.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

Art – William John Hennessy – A Spring Fantasy 1880