Tuesday, September 06, 2011

promenade, smile, herbs

Posted by Picasa The same stretch of promenade in St Leonards has become for me a sort of stage where little plays are performed by unsuspecting players. Plays? Or real life actions:  inconsequential or who knows, profoundly consequential.

The difference between laughing and smiling. In the foreword to  Claude Gagnière's Pour tout l'or des mots, the author writes:"It seems that today people smile less and less often and laugh more and more.   'The smile is wise and sensitive; the laugh mad and insensitive.' ... Laughter is an explosion, liberating in its irruption a force constrained.  It is no more than a reflex, often collective in origin, of which the cause leaves few traces in the memory. The smile, on the other hand, is complicit and intelligent,  to be shared with a friend, a close friend or a stranger with whom you have references and a capacity for irreverence in common, and with whom you can be as intelligent  or as silly as you choose."

Herbs are grown for their leaves, sometimes for their seeds, less often for their flowers. Sometimes the flowers go unnoticed. Or are resented as indications that the leaves have lost their savour. Such has been my attitude in the past to coriander and dill, which in hot summers  tend bolt and flower too quickly. But this year I notice and delight in the spreading umbels of dill like golden stars, and the pretty white inflorescences of the coriander which Heidi has arranged in the kitchen alongside sprigs of mint and parsley.

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