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‘Birdsong’, ‘The Tree of Life’ and ‘April Fool’s Day’…

February 1, 2012

Love, life and the futility of trying to own your love, your life…

‘Birdsong’, ‘The Tree of Life’, and ‘April Fool’s Day’… 

Well what can you say? That’s why art exists to hint at what it’s hard to say or hard to truly conceive of.


I read ‘Birdsong’ by Sebastian Faulks a good few years back now while quite ill and dosed up on strong pain killers – the experience was far more intense as I was just laid-up in bed and ‘living the read’, I recall that the drugs just made it all the more vibrant!

As you  might expect, the book differed, was much more intense and the story was much more involved than the TV adaptation.

One of the whisps* that I took away was the constant juxtaposition of hell and heaven. In many ways it played with loss and ownership, freedom and control, heaven and hell etc… and of course passion. Personally I did not engage with historical detail however the resonance of the tragedy of war rang very loud. (When the film ended and minutes later the BBC news showed explicit reportage film of current war elsewhere in the world, life did momentarily seem ridiculous and hopeless!

For me, amongst other things, alas it was about love, life and the futility of trying to own your love, your life…

The Tree of Life

I watched ‘The Tree of Life’ the night before and I guess that’s coloured my wondering…

‘The Tree of Life’ starts and ends with a mysterious, wavering light/flame flickering in the darkness. It seems to be underpinned with a quote: “people must choose to either follow the path of grace or the path of nature”. Again I felt it was juggling freedom and control, choice, construction and creation…

It represents nature/creation against man’s efforts and constructions. It juggles gentleness with strictness, and wonder with discipline.  It represents memory and relationships.

Again I come back to love, life and the futility of trying to own your love, your life… ?  amongst other whisps*:

April Fool’s Day

Merge the above with my recent reading of ‘April Fool’s Day‘ by Bryce Couretnay.

I can’t can’t comment much on this read – it’s seeped into my being – but was an amazing read.

I recall the quote ‘…more than the heart, the bowel, the knee joint… …more than flesh and blood…” 

Courtenay has been a  favourite author of mine since reading “The Power of One” in my 20s. Poor film, great singing, great Book.

“April Fool’s Day” is an altogether different read; a true and rich account that naturally still emits the character of BCs world. In the end, love is more important than everything and it will conquer and overcome anything. Bryce’s son Damon Courtenay died on the morning of April Fool’s Day. In this tribute to his son, Bryce Courtenay lays bare…

Quite unlike any book I’ve read before!

Again I hear whisp*ers of love, life and the futility of trying to own your love, your life… ?

*whisps – my intangible and imponderable but pervasive semi-thoughts… ish…


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