One woman grew her hair so long it dragged across the floor as she walked. People thought she was pleasing to look at and she wore highly decorated clothing.

And facing the gods was joyful for her too. Foremost, she had to face herself – and she thought she was so inspirational.

She did not see her darker purposes … These lay far away in veiled areas.

Invariably she says to her husband, You are right! – and very often he says, True.

Such is their mode, their temperate manner.

Naturally there are those exigencies, calamities that underpin everyday life. How does the couple keep going with gusto? – also sometimes the woman can’t walk at all.

Now, I wouldn’t have thought so – but she developed severe arthritis in the talonavicular joint, one of the many small joints in the ankle.

But it is not possible to worry ourselves over the concerns of every little animal that has to take care of itself.

Let us enter their house to see the orange folding chairs that are punchy and the radiators that have been painted to match.

An armchair has been placed by the window where the woman prefers to spend her holidays.

By the way, she plays the tuba. When she was a young woman she dedicated herself to the tuba. The tuba is capable of everything. People are just figuring that out. And if you don’t like the sound of it, you can’t blame everything on the player or on the instrument – some of the problem is in the music.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences