Though summer doesn't truly start until the solstice, on or about the 22nd of December this year, in modern, rational Australia, it began on the 1st of this month. Unwilling as I am to surf the wave of expediency, it is, nonetheless, getting perspiringly hot here, in this southern corner of our known world...
Above, "Charles Rothschild in 1907 outside his father-in-law's house at Csetelek, Hungary."
Blue has come to designate melancholy, unrequited longing. This, despite its obvious allegiance to truth and clarity. No colour can be perfect. Does its detached, sky-reaching purity cultivate in the apprehension of those who apprehend it, a feeling of isolation? Down here, the heat radiates across the skin of us standing in it like a dream. It is a sort of purification. Can I stand on my hillside alone?
What is wrong then, with an unavoidable feeling of apart-ness? What is wrong is the ache of high summer, when the globe of the world, heated to extremity, arches high into the sky, leaving us as vestiges of ourselves.
Some years ago ( in 1997 ), I wrote off to Harley Books in Colchester, England, for a copy of this, a record of the nature reserves established, sponsored and supported by the Rothschilds. No little thing, this document of all they have done. "Rothschild's Reserves - Time and Fragile Nature" is a record of diligent responsibility, from a family who didn't have to have such diligence and responsibility, but did.
I was intending to posit myself as some sort of Blue Boy, but Gainsborough does it much better. He, the Blue Boy, is wearing his blue, the colour that once confessed, becomes invisible. I am becoming invisible myself, this summer, surreally.
Oh, yikes, is it Monet? No, it is "an old brickpit and reedbeds at Wicken Fen," one of the many blue-green spaces the Rothschilds saved. Perhaps the very humility of the space makes it more worth saving than a major work of art, being a major work of art itself. There's a glassy mirror there, but I can never drown, for it is forever summer and I am forever of a blueness:
or of a mauveness. The jacaranda outside my back door has come to life. Blue is suspected of being the colour of a languid or piercing sadness. Perhaps there's some truth in that assertion; sadness is a necessary part of life, without which we'd all be grinning riotously, all the time. But it's also the colour of hope, the one quality left after Pandora, it is claimed, had loosed upon the world every imaginable agony.