Monday, September 22, 2014

be drunk on light

Be Drunk

Charles Baudelaire

You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.”

The mornings this weekend were filled with light. There wasn't enough time though, to capture everything I wanted to capture.

It's the morning light that goes on saving me, and the evening light when I can find it.

I ask the bird what time it answers: time to be continually drunk.

Another movie added to my library list this weekend, The Tree, with Charlotte Gainsbourg. I'd taken or almost taken this movie out a few times.

From a review in the NY Times:

Sadness and longing haunt the films of the French director Julie Bertuccelli, whose gorgeous second feature, “The Tree,” is set in Queensland, Australia, on the outskirts of Brisbane. Here, on the edge of the outback, the environment is so luminous that every outdoor shot has an aura of magical realism. 
The title refers to a marvelous, many-limbed tree, a Moreton Bay fig, that rises like a giant, woody mushroom with cradling arms next to the ramshackle farmhouse of the O’Neils, a family of six. Both a protective canopy and an intrusive menace with an aggressive root system, the tree is as much a character in the movie as any of the humans; it is also, of course, a potent, all-purpose metaphor.

So obviously, I knew the film would be about grief, and would be filled with sadness, and I wasn't ready to go there the previous times I took it home from the library. And then, I was. This past weekend. And glad I watched it. There is a bit of a fairytale quality to it, but only a hint. And watching it, you don't have the feeling that the ending is certain in any way at all. Not a Disney fairytale at all. The acting was really fine, but I would have watched it for the tree alone, which is quite magical and real at once.

The garden is very much done now. A few perennials here and there having their last hurrah, but all the annuals have had their day.

One last dahlia, seemed to deserve one last go in the sun.

The burdens this bird has carried....the rain and snow and sun it has seen and weathered. A constant reminder for me.


  1. Thank you, Shawna. So many good, necessary reminders here. And these are some of my favourites of the bird, so far. "The burdens this bird has carried." Lovely.

  2. Wow. I thought that first photo of the bird was glorious and then that poem which I did not know before but loved from the first words, but then more of that beautiful bird, dancing drunkenly through the light, carrying flowers. Your post is just magic. Thank you :-)

  3. I think I need to find a bird like yours, just to remind me of these words here today :) Thanks too, for the movie recommendation. I tend to avoid sad, powerful movies much for the same reasons you've described but I might give this one a go. xo

  4. Lights are fading and I like that...

  5. so beautiful.
    to be drunk on life itself... and light!
    and no one captures it better than you.
    and the little bird...
    i love the bird.
    it's you. a totem to the way you look at life.

  6. I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it was to read this post. I feel like I need to print out that poem and read it every morning. This is just perfect for the beginning of the new season and as a promise to myself when winter comes along. I've been thinking about the "being drunk" part and trying to find my "thing". And here you go an express it is such a lovely way. Thanks to you, at least a thousand times!

  7. You've all lifted my spirits with your comments. Thank you so much.


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