Saturday, July 10, 2010

Diary extract No. 17

Alexandre has taken all the black keys off the piano. Pasted skeleton keys there instead. He tells me he needs them to open the castle doors. There are no castles here, though. We've left them all behind. Now there's no way to play without unlocking all the doors in the castle. (The one across the ocean. Remember the Earl and his fragile little wife and the window that had a light at all hours.) My fingers hover over the keys, but I never play. Never, because there are Ghosts behind those doors. Not Ghosts like Alexandre. There can never be Ghosts like Alexandre. At night, I almost think I see him when I walk round the corner; his shadow darts about. He is only still when he is sad. Or when I am sad. He always likes to sit with me when I am sad, like he Understands every little thought in my tiny head. Still, it is rather bothersome not being able to find what he's done with the piano keys. (Alexandre is the best secret keeper because he is a Ghost. Skeletons are the worst, you see.)


We watched the fireworks, curled up in quilts because it was a cold night. Not like summer. Not at all. Like it was hailing bombs, only they burst into stardust before they could ever harm us. Sometimes, I thought I could feel coarse wool brush against my arms and the smell of gunpowder invade my nose. When I closed my eyes, the sound of people running became the heavy stride of soldiers marching. As though, for a few moments, I wasn't me any more. Hunkered down in bomb shelters, warmth pressed against ribs as the earth trembled, dreaming of jam and cake and re-reading dictionaries. Trying to be Brave. But the next moment, Maman is pouring out hot chocolate from the thermos and we are all cuddling closer together. (There is a secret about chocolate, you know. It fixes many, many things.) She smells of warm sugar, like biscuits right from the oven, as she points to the lights in the sky. Like exploding constellations, she says. It's all a Magic Trick, I think, the whole world's one grand sleight of hand.


Oh, yes. Also, Papa had his birthday. We parcelled up books for him. Books wrapped in shimmering gold paper and satin ribbons. All he ever wants is books. I think that maybe he could live off of them. Build a fortress of leather books with gold lettering and read for breakfast and lunch and supper. But I will never tell him that. It is so very easy to get Lost in a fortress of Books. Easier to escape a labyrinth than to find your way out of Books. (Labyrinths don't know how to convince you to stay.)

33 comments:

Jennifer said...

Elly, how is it you do that? You are so perfect. When I read your words I am no longer in my living room but somewhere else far away, somewhere that you have taken me.
I hope you are feeling well and Brave,
xxx

teapartied said...

Oh Elly, this is my very favorite post from you. The pictures are stunning and the words are even more beautiful. I truly adore it. xxx

Jess. said...

I think this is beautiful. I was so sad that I had missed the fireworks, as I was sick in bed. And then last night, as I was walking to the train, I looked up and there they were. Surprise fireworks lighting up my way home. It was just like magic.

x
Jess.

Rachel said...

This is wonderful. I would even say it is whimsical. (Whimsical is one of my favorite words, because Sufjan is whimsical.) Those photographs are absolutely lovely as well. Where were you when they were taken?

scraped elbows said...

Alexandre seems quite mischievous! But I do hope and hope that you find your lost piano keys soon. I am sure that he will open all of the castle doors he needs to open when he finds them, and will return your keys, it might just take quite a while <3 xxxx

ch▲r said...

as always, your posts are vivid, beautiful...
i love the pictures!

xxx

Skylark said...

This is so lovely. Fireworks can be quite frightening, I think. I hope you find you keys.

Aleyn Comprendio said...

These words my my heart ache from their beauty. You speak magic and the photos are just as stunning.
<3

Eliza said...

Oh, dearest Elly, this was beautiful. You know how I understand everything. Alexandre must be a beautiful ghost, I'd love to meet him. I always loved fireworks, always the explosions. They are a little like constellations, that's right. Magical, moving ones. All my love ♥

Aleyn said...

Oh, I'm truly sorry about some typographical error I just made. I meant to say "These words MAKE..."

Elaine said...

those pictures are beautiful! and so are the words ♥

minna ♥ said...

Oh, Elly Darling, how I long to crawl into these words and to meet Alexandre. He sounds like just the person I need at present. Your description of fireworks is mesmerising and perceptive.
Love ♥

maz in wonderland said...

I want to meet Alexandre and give him a bear hug; he sounds so perfect. Dearest elly, you make everything seem like a little dream. xxx

tia- said...

Your writing always steals me away to another place, another time, another life. Everything, everything is so beautifully woven. I am dreaming of living in a fortress of books, and I wouldn't even mind being lost there forever. Your blog makes my mind wander. You are so, so precious. x

Indie.Tea said...

Books are a divine present, a present from the gods perhaps.
I love the photographs. I think I shall follow your blog.

Kate Maggie said...

Elly - I cant get over your posts. They amaze me more and more every single time. Ah. How do you do it? :) I am in awe!! x

lauren said...

thos photos are amazing. such beauty.
your blog is an inspiration to mine

holly and the wolves said...

gosh you write so beautifully, honestly. the most beautiful. these pictures are to die for & i love, love the sentence about exploding constellations. the healing powers of chocolate are indeed remarkable xx

heleen said...

If only all my imaginary friends were as kind as Alexandre, ghosts never seem to favour me.

ps, you amaze me. Your sweet mind shines through these words and it illuminates my soul. xo

Molly Blues said...

hmm.. i love fireworks,also these pictures are amazing.

i wish a happy b-day to your daddy :-)

ps. and please, keep doing the lovely things you usually do, 'cause your posts are like a little treat for my soul.

xx

Not Wendy said...

Oh, I should love to live in a sweet cottage of books! I think I should get lost quite a bit.

Gorgeous post. <3

Hannah said...

these photographs are awesome!

ponyhunter said...

beautiful words. i got lost in them.

Not Wendy said...

This is so, so good. I wish I had a ghost-friend, although I marvel at how unafraid you are. You write so wonderfully. And did you take the pictures too?

Happy birthday to your father. (:

Rosie said...

I think i may be in love with your blog!
Your blog is a little slice of Serendipity




Serendipity - is a propensity for making fortuitous discoveries while looking for something unrelated, a hidden treasure

Love Rosie xo

Maggie May said...

so very beautiful

ashley⧓moe said...

no no, I had no idea bambi meant little girl! I've always thought that would be such a sweet name for a child, although unfortunately names like that make you sound like a stripper or something of the sort.
Your blog is absolutely lovely!

yasmin said...

The world you live in seems so far from my own, you are surrounded by only magic
I wish I could live there too
X
X
X

magnoliaamber said...

Aye, your posts (and the previous previous posts) have been so lovely! All are beautiful photos, oh are you in Holland?

Thank you for ur lovely comment in my previous post (long long time ago, it seems). And the way you described are just so delicate and gorgeous! I could almost feel how it was like to see a fireworks and curling due to cold at the same time.

Very pretty indeed!!!

kirstyb said...

love the pics x

Ke said...

This is such a lovely post,the fireworks are way too beautiful.

elly said...

You are all so wonderful! Thank you so very much for all your lovely words. I hold each and every one of them in my tiny, too-little heart!
xxx

anouk said...

english is not my mothertongue, but i really enjoy to read your words and they are great especially in context with the pictures.

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like talking to trees, your whispers hidden in the wind. only sometimes the trees talk back. like wishing on a star and having the star wish on you. say what you like; there's always someone listening.
a very merry thank you.