Monday, 8 February 2010

Roland Clare 2010

Here are some Bristolian SA4Qations perpetrated in the noontide gloom not far from my workplace. The text is from Turtle Diary … a chapter that has always made me laugh out loud, and yet links so interestingly to later work like The Raven (from The Moment under The Moment):

… The Original Therapy lady was a rampant-looking woman of about forty. Shiny red hair in the style of old musical films, tight white trousers, gold sandals, silver toenails, bursting purple silk blouse. Swarthy boyfriend with a St Christopher medal and a racing-driver watch strap.

Her name was Ruby and she sounded as though she lived in a caravan, her voice and her way of talking. She began to tell us about her therapy while some of the people in the room sat in lotus positions with very straight backs and others held their heads. One girl wailed a little now and then, another muttered the whole time.

She was American, this Ruby. Told us how she’d knocked about, been a rodeo rider, done roller derbies, wrestled, had three husbands and all kinds of troubles. Discovered her Original Therapy whilst wrestling one night. Another lady had a scissors grip on her and was squeezing very hard, got a bit over-enthusiastic and wouldn’t let go. Under the pressure Ruby experienced a strange alteration of consciousness.

“I was seeing all kinds of coloured lights and shooting sparks,” she said, “and the sound of the crowd was beginning to come and go like the roar of surf far away. Something began to happen to me. I could feel myself going way way down and way way back, like thousands of years, millions of years, glaciers coming and going and the dinosaurs sinking into the swamps and the primitive trees being crushed into coal. Farther back than that even, crawling out of a warm ocean and gasping on the beach and beyond that back to the sea and smaller and smaller, all the way back to a single cell. And back beyond that to nothing, just the warm sea, what they call the primordial soup.”

Ruby went farther than the soup even, she got to a point where there was nothing, no time, no her, no anything. Then there came something like the idea of a question, a kind of original YES? or NO? It put itself together as YES. There was a mystical green pattern with no sound, then a red explosion in Ruby’s mind and the people in the ringside seats were picking the other lady wrestler out of their laps. That was the turning point in Ruby’s life, going back to the origins of life and finding the big YES, and she was going to show us slides and then demonstrate her therapy …

The slideshow below shows:

(1) A bit of Turtle Diary on the bench outside a suitably Hobanesque café.

(2) Hobanised yellow paper left amid virgin yellow paper in stationery shop.

(3) The ‘Pedestrians’ sign seemed like a ready-made notice-board.

(4 & 5) Hoban quotation obscuring ‘All the stuff you need to know’ at a well-used info-terminal near the city centre.

(6 & 7) Stuck to a random door, because I liked the ‘doorbell’ there.

(8) Yellow sheet left in a derelict refrigerator on waste ground … something for the low-budget drinking community to enjoy, perhaps.




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