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Cloud Atlas

Bodybuilders like book snippets that inspire and are truly beautiful such as excerpts from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and short story by Can Themba the Suite here. I read now Cloud Atlas by David Mitchel. This is not a new book nor an easy one. But it’s got this cool passage where one of the characters, Robert Frobisher, describes a moment of idleness outside Château Zedelghem.

“Past the sundered beech, the meadow falls away to an ornamental lake, ringing with frogs. Seen better days. A precarious footbridge connect an island to the shore, and flamingo lilies bloom in vast numbers. Now and then goldfish splash and gleam like new pennies dropped in water. Whiskered mandarin ducks honk for bread, exquisitely tailored beggars – rather like myself. Martins nest in a boathouse of tarred boards under a row of pear trees – once an orchard? – I laid me down and idled, an art perfected during my long convalescence. An idler and a sluggard are as different as a gourmand and a glutton. Watched the aerial bliss of a coupled dragonflies. Even heard their wings, an ecstatic sound like paper flaps in bicycle spokes. Gazed on a slowworm exploring a miniature Amazonia around the roots where I lay. Silent? Not altogether, no. Was woken much latter, by first spot of rain. Cumulonimbi were reaching critical mass. Sprinted back to Zedelghem as fast as I’ll ever run again, just to hear the rushing roar in my ear canals and feel the first fat droplets pound my face like xylophone hammers.”


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