Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's The Little Things That Count, Part Three

“I want my life to have a rhythm more than anything else on earth.”  ~Denton Welch, A Voice in a Cloud


Denton Welch (1915-1948) scribbled these words while recuperating from a horrible bicycle accident that would ultimately claim his life at the age of 33. Bedridden for months in a nursing home in the English countryside, he fantasized about his former life as the world continued on around him. Acutely sensitive, it was the little things he missed most, those ordinary commonplace sights and rituals that we so often take for granted but which he felt gave our lives shape and meaning.

“Sometimes anything will make you want to cry. Why do people feel so sad when they see beautiful things? That is always being mentioned; it must be quite common.”  

(Pantry, Los Angeles, 2013.) 

(Flowers at dusk, 2011.)

(London café, 2014.)

“One of the nurses would wash me in the very early morning…then I would lie on my back, cross my arms and float away to an old brick house set in damp green fields in the depths of the country.”
(House spotted on a country walk, English countryside, 2012.)

“As a child I had delighted to look in at windows…they were a sort of giant dolls’ house to me.”
(Dining room at dusk, 2014.)

“In this daydream room, to which I was always returning, the wide floorboards were so fanatically waxed and polished that even the old nail heads glistened like silver.”
(Scotland, 2010.)

No memory of Denton's was too ordinary to merit a little bit of joy.

“The humdrum scene...held its own unexplained poignancy for me. The dog yapped, the tea poured, the human beings smiled without ceasing. It was as if they were all enchanted.”
(Scotland, 2007.)

“The room seemed like a brown casserole, a baked dish, warm and comforting and heavy.”
(Antwerp, 2013.)

“The scene...was candle-lit and fire-lit, but outside it was always day.”
(Antwerp, 2013.)

“I would sit down in front of this meal and begin to eat slowly, savoring each morsel, sometimes reading a line from the book I had been reading.”
(Dinner chez friends, 2013.)

 “I was utterly content to lie there and dream.”
(Scotland, 2007.)

*All photos unless otherwise noted by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti.


Karena said...

Wonderful, absolutely so moving Lisa!
The Arts by Karena

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

the simple visuals to most are poignant to mine eyes.



helen tilston said...

Hello Lisa

I love how you have created a tapestry and inter-twined the words and images. Your photography makes my heart skip a beat


Rose said...

What a beautiful piece to read first thing in the morning. Thank you.

Anonymous said...


Bethanne Matari said...

Just reading this on Monday morning---what a perfect way to start the week. Really beautiful Lisa!

Frances said...

Lisa, this is a gorgeous post. Thank you for your fabulous photographs and for the introduction to a writer I'd not previously been acquainted with.

Best wishes from New York.

Terra said...

He died young and wrote eloquently of the beauty of a cozy room, a meal, small things. Your photos are wonderful; the one of the man reading with the antlers on the wall could be a painting.

Lisa Thomson said...

How lovely! As always your posts are like a treasure to be reopened. I can read then many times and get something new from them. Gorgeous! Thank you.

dervla @ The Curator said...

what a sadness he must have felt, bedridden and missing his old life.

Hels said...

He died at 33? What a catastrophe :(

Isn't it interesting that food, like music, is so evocative of times gone by.

Nancy said...

Thank you for creating and sharing this wonderful post, Lisa! It is a treasure.

Gail Gallagher said...

Treasured glimpses. Wonderful!

Susan Athanasakou said...

What a splendid post,
The bit about beauty making people sad reminded me of what my Daughter said to me after visiting Paris.
She said:
"I was so sad while I was there , I wanted to cry"
When I asked her why, her answer was:
"because it was so beautiful"

NotesFromAbroad said...

I cry easily these days and I admit I am a bit weepy after reading these ... not that they are sad, they are just so Perfect ..

"The room seemed like a brown casserole, a baked dish, warm and comforting and heavy.”

Like this one ... perfect.

Sharron said...

Always good to have a reminder of the beauty in the ordinary...

Hels said...

All the stupid, irrelevant and anonymous comments are still arriving at my email box. I have deleted six so far, from people advertising dick expanders and such :(

Could you please please please ban all anonymous mail. I could of course not ask for comments to be sent to me, but I love Bloomsbury.

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Linda said...

Isn't it about time to start blogging again in support of The Book?

Si Je Veux said...

Beautiful pics. Especially the tiles in London.

katy gilmore said...

I loved this post - and find myself wanting to say, because you remind of how common it is to cry at beauty, that I just spent a few moments in San Marco church in Venice. We were upstairs in the museum (because of mass going on in the church), but could see a glimpse of the scene below and the lights were on, and all the gold mosaics splendidly bright. When the music of organ and voices swelled, tears pricked -- so so beautiful.
Thanks Lisa for this wonderful post - loved seeing your photos and remembering past posts.
P.S. very excited to order your book for many friends! You are making Christmas shopping such a pleasure this year.

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Tracey Steele said...

I recently came across this post, and it prompted me to read A Voice Through a Cloud. What a wonderful book, one of those that I am sure I will keep referring back to. Thank you for introducing me to Denton Welch.

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