Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Writing

Day 195

I’m doing the days upside down again. It’s a mistake to leave this until the evening, because my mind is so tired it feels half asleep.

Before now, everywhere I’ve been on holiday has been a fond memory, and the only places I’ve really missed are places I’ve lived and worked. Yes, I love Venice, and living there would be cool, but I don’t feel the same draw I feel now to Agios Nikolaos. When I went to bed last night (and got up again because I couldn’t sleep), I was just about in tears with my missing of the place. And this morning, at home alone because M and A were both working in town, I took a break, sat in the grey cool morning, and wept for my beach, and the gentleness and kindness I felt there. And I’m not romanticising this, nor looking at it through rose-tinted spectacles. Yes, everyday chores didn’t rear their tiresome heads as they do here. Yes, we didn’t need to cook. But that applies to just about any holiday we’ve been on. But what none of them have ever done is leave me with such a sense of place, such a longing for place. And with that I don’t just mean somewhere that has seared itself into my memory to use as a setting for writing and memories – there are many of those places, Venice being the leading one. What I mean is that I felt I belonged, feel I belong. It’s the same feeling I got when we first moved to Norway and I felt like I’d come home. And I didn’t speak that country’s language at that point either.

Most of my epiphanies and best lines and best thoughts happen in the garden, usually when I’m smoking. This could also explain why I wrote so much good stuff while we were in Crete – sitting in the shade, in the heat, outside, air fresh and circulating, and not trapped inside a room. Anyway, my epiphany this morning was all about time. And this holiday, the days actually went really slowly, and now the days are just speeding past again, and there seems no time to do anything. I think that’s because, on holiday, we think “you can do this,” and the underlying feeling isn’t one of compulsion, so time stretches because we are just doing what we want. Back in the real non-holiday world, though, we think “you must do this, you have to do this, and you have to do it by x,” so time compresses and becomes out of our control, and everything happens much more quickly because we’re racing towards those points in time we make for ourselves, or, actually, those points in time which are made for us, imposed on us.

The heat was good for me. I can already feel my body silting up with the damp and underlying coolness of England. It’s uncomfortable, and the creaks and aches are irritating. And I’ve just seen a comment on yesterday’s post quoting my own lyrics for a new song back at me – “Change the world. It can only get better. Take all the chances you get.” I will, MF, I promise, I will.




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