University in June: bereft souls, nursing students and porters still moving heavy things. Occasionally I can’t help reading a title over someone’s shoulder: something to do with blood cells or pedagogy (does anyone like that word?) The gym is more clinically desolate than usual. The corridors seem wider. What would I have done if, as a student, I had stayed on campus during the summer? Probably much the same as what I did during semester, which is not to say write precocious essays about Shakespeare.
I enjoyed browsing a book recently about Renoir, the original: in his last years he moved to the south of France, where he painted constantly right up until his death. Imagine having such a sense of urgency in your 20s with three months of summer ahead of you? On campus there is filming equipment in cupboards being unused. There are locations with perfect light if you’re prepared to capture it…
‘…Then came the coolness of the salt water. We were laughing together, dazzled, languid, grateful. We had sun and sea, laughter and love. Would we ever experience them again as we did that summer, with all the vividness and intensity lent to them by fear and remorse?’*
*Bonjour Tristesse, Françoise Sagan