Monday, March 19, 2007

november 14, 1942

"What were we in love with? That is an awkward question. If I were to reply that we loved each other it would be for the sake of expediency and politeness. But it is only a half-truth unsuited to this time in that Blue Mountains town when the clouds at the end of every street were filled with the grand dreams of elsewhere. It is more accurate to say that our lives were lived in the service of these clouds which took the forms of our desires. We loved them with a passion that expanded and filled the sky. It was our clouds, for example, which boys carried in photographs to the trenches. The sight comforted them for they knew that these were different from German clouds which were full of dead men's souls. It was among our clouds that consumptives learned to chew mist instead of words, to grasp love or be smothered by it. Their bodies mapped the symptoms of our strange yearnings: our thirst to hear voices in the air, to feel the liquid tremors of the earth. If you place your head on a consumptive's chest you can hear waterfalls. I know. I have done it."
--Delia Falconer, The Service of Clouds