this is not a review: ‘bluets’, by maggie nelson

 

Ninety-five pages containing 240 vignettes on the colour blue.

And life.

Maggie Nelson’s Bluets is one of those rare gems not only for the precision of her writing… there is nothing that shouldn’t be there… but for discussions of blue in literature, art and song, for feelings on love and loss and grief, the pleasure of learning that bowerbirds collect only blue things… bus tickets, buttons, other birds’ feathers.

Nelson writes about blue without writing about blue, but using it to tap into emotions and connections that exist everywhere.

A deceivingly clever little book.

 

“I have been trying, for some time now, to find dignity in my loneliness. I have been finding this hard to do… It is easier, of course, to find dignity in ones’ solitude. Loneliness is solitude with a problem.”

“I have enjoyed telling people that I am writing a book about blue without actually doing it. Mostly what happens in such cases is that people give you stories or leads or gifts,f and then you can play with these things instead of with words. Over the past decade I have been given blue inks, paintings, postcards, dyes, bracelets, rocks, precious stones, watercolours, pigments, paperweights, goblets, and candies. I have been introduced to a man who had one of his front teeth replaced with lapis lazuli, solely because he loved the stoen, and to another who worships blue so devoutly tht he refuses to eat blue food and grows only blue and white flowers in his garen, which surrounds the blue ex-cathedral in which he lives…”

“Why blue? People ask me this question often. I never know how to respond We don’t get to chose what or whom we love, I want to say. We just don’t get to choose.”

 

If, like me, you love colours… here’s some.

Including blue.

 

 

today’s colour(s) — tiny island version

dsc00319Hanging out with the buoys.

 

dsc00310Street address as sculpture.

 

dsc04589Supper!

 

dsc00318French River.

 

dsc07367Too bad my suitcase wasn’t big enough.

 

dsc00256There is no reason NOT to paint your doorways green and purple.

 

dsc07366Hard to say goodbye to old friends with cute red wheels.

 

dsc07427Cabin art.

 

dsc00234Enlarge this to really revel in that blue blue…

 

dsc07369Again with the purple and green. An island thing? Can anyone explain?

 

dsc00313I don’t know that it’s possible to have lime green doors and be a pessimist, or even uncheerful.

 

dsc00255They could have painted this white but, cleverly, didn’t.

 

dsc00306Tables with view of post office. (Actually this is right next to the sweetest bookshop/cafe/bike shop just outside St. Peter’s.)

 

dsc00303Is laundry on a line not a thing to be besotted with?

 

dsc00316Too late. All gone.

More island colour here.

peace. and love. pass it on.

DSC06001You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by

And so, become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye
DSC06002Teach your children well
Their father’s hell did slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by
DSC06004Don’t you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you
DSC06008Teach your parents well
Their children’s hell will slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by
DSC06007Don’t you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry

So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you