Monday, July 8, 2013

A Joyous and Paradoxical Thing

I learned about lovely shimmery bottles (demijohns) like this one in Mallorca, and have in fact written a couple into one of my Mallorcan mysteries.

This quote from Peter Carey's wonderful novel Oscar and Lucinda celebrates the properties of glass:
[She] knew already the lovely contradictory nature of glass and she did not have to be told, on the day she saw the works at Darling Harbour, that glass is a thing in disguise, an actor, is not solid at all, but a liquid, that an old sheet of glass will not only take on a royal and purplish tinge but will reveal its true liquid nature by having grown fatter at the bottom and thinner at the top, and that even while it is as frail as the ice on a Parramatta puddle, it is stronger under compression than Sydney sandstone, that it is invisible, solid, in short, a joyous and paradoxical thing, as good a material as any to build a life from.”
—Peter Carey


  1. i especially love the old green glass... you know with the bubbles in its life showing like little jewels on a dress. i want that kind of glass in my life. a story in it. earth. fire.
    and to pick up sea glass on a silver beach...
    happiness today. starting with here.

    1. I'm sure you already saw this glass with the lovely bubbles in it: But a little light-gathering for today, Tammy j!

    2. oh my cristie b. cochrell!
      i simply love that picture. it captures exactly what i was trying to say above...
      EXACTLY!!! i like jay's comment too.
      and what you said... the one beautiful line...
      "light itself is holy, but in glass it is somehow utterly exalted."
      just grand.
      thank you christie b.
      and no. i hadn't seen it. so glad you put it here for me.

  2. I love those pieces of glass bottles.
    It's funny, I always refused to have plastic containers in my apartment. I only buy glass.

    1. That's admirable, Jay. We've recently found some of those old-fashioned bottles with the elaborate hinged stopper cap — elegant to have around.