So I missed a week and no-one commented. That’s a relief, in one sense. Last Thursday I was camping in the bush, a long way from a computer.
It was a semi-cleared area near Jarrahdale, and I pitched my tent near a row of four old orange trees. Animals – kangaroos, is my guess – had stripped all the oranges on the lower branches, but there were plenty higher up, slightly sour with hard to peel skin. Further over was a tall oak tree. Near my tent were pieces of an old china plate and broken bottles.
I tried to picture the house which must have stood there. There should be monuments in places like this. To think people might have lived whole lives in that space, and no-one even knows today. Our ancestors are strangers who leave some traces, a mystery to us.
While sitting under the shade of a gum tree on Thursday afternoon, I finished Anne Fadiman’s excellent collection of personal bibliographic essays, Ex-Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. These are the kind of essays I aspire to in this blog. She writes about the experience of ‘marrying’ her book collection with her husband’s and the challenges of agreeing on ways to arrange books. She explores the ins and outs of annotating – or not annotating – books. (I am a lead pencil annotater. I have sympathy with people who consider it desecration.)