I will tell you a secret. I do not live in New York city anymore. I live in a city I cannot say without sounding like an American doing an impression of my accent. It only takes about 40 minutes to get into NYC (if this was London it might be zone 4) but it’s another world entirely. In the garden there are sunflowers and sleek black squirrels. There is a squeaky gate with morning glory curling round it and a wooden bench with a tree bending over like a bower. These days there is sunshine. It is the perfect place to work.
I am reading If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, translated by Anne Carson and two books by Adrienne Rich, Diving into the Wreck and a book of essays, On Lies, Secrets and Silence. It is a kind of heaven to live in a world of books again, like breathing out after a long holding of breath. This is more like a letter I might write Karen McCarthy Woolf than a post in which I tell you anything. There’s lots I could say about what I’ve been doing, or the small and bigger differences. But the thing I am hit by when I wake up in the morning is that this is my new work. In some ways this is the biggest transition I have ever made, from thinking about work as out in the world, to locating it here, in the garden or on the kitchen table. Writing it out like that makes me feel I should be feeling a great responsibility towards it, but luckily I don’t yet. I can’t show you a photo as I need to buy a converter to charge my camera. So just imagine a picture of me in conversation with a black squirrel.