How long is a day in the dark?

Schiele Lovers

 

My father’s favorite line from the English Patient is, “I’m not missing you yet.” I prefer the very end. I love the imagery of writing in the dark. Curiously, it is a line written for the movie only and not the novel. There are a couple of motifs in the movie that do not appear as clearly as in the book. These have to do with the idea of ownership, the absurdity of national boundries and identity, and love in general. When one writes in the dark, one is unable to write in a straight line for there are no boundries. Here it is . . .

My darling, I’m waiting for you – how long is a day in the dark, or a week?

…the fire is gone now, and I’m horribly cold. I really ought to drag myself outside but then there would be the sun…

I’m afraid I waste the light on the paintings and on writing these words… 

We die, we die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed…

…bodies we have entered and swum up like rivers, fears we have hidden in like this wretched cave…

…I want all this marked on my body. We are the real countries, not the boundaries drawn on maps with the names of powerful men…

…I know you will come and carry me out into the palace of winds, the rumors of water…

That’s all I’ve wanted – to walk in such a place with you, with friends, on earth without maps.

The lamp’s gone out and I’m writing in the darkness…

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