In summer 2013, I took a trip with Tony Craze, my father and a fellow-writer, to Gurs, the site of a former internment camp near Pau, France. We are now writing a book about the trip, On Passage, which is composed of a series of meditations on passage: for each stage of the trip, we both write about a moment of our journey, and then reply to the other's text. It is a conversation in fragments. Slowly, we are building up a patchwork of intersecting meditations on the theme of passage. Below is an excerpt from one of my more recent entries:
We have been writing about memories, condensed in objects, and yet when I think of train stations, what comes to mind are not objects, but their absence.
My life is full of objects. These cumbersome things are often generated by the fact I have objectives, goals to set out towards, things to be achieved, and places to go.
The great joy of journeys is that they generate time in which my objective is near (it’s achievable), but momentarily out of my reach. I can’t yet board the train. I can’t yet get on with it.
This is the time for coffee in Quick, the molten brown liquor threatening to melt the plastic cup and cascade in an ambulance-journey of burns onto my hands.