Nature’s objective is not to complete But to re-become Again, and again
Brianna Wiest from Salt Water, page 44
Yes! the multi-coloured foliage of all our lives falls to earth and water, regular as clockwork. That’s the norm. We waste our energy trying to resist the passage of time and season. We renew our energies when – and if – we learn the wisdom of the soul and the seasonal. There is, indeed, a time for everything under the sun. When our personal ‘flowers’ are brought to the ground we should, perhaps, breathe a sigh of relief. Here’s a fallow period. A rest. Downtime. Like my oxalis triangularis corms – covered up in a dark cupboard for a while to regain their strength – so it is for us: we’re not to complete, but to re-become. Wow!
I often overhear passers-by the front of my cottage asking ‘I wonder what it’s called?’ Tonight, towards the end of the season, a single mildly scented rose called‘Compassion’ (link) brings attention-grabbing colour to the front of the house and sometimes slows the pace a little as it beckons people nearer …
I wasn’t especially conscious of being in need of a bit of therapy when I placed my order for Dr Katie Cooper’s lovely volume Plant Therapy(link). Turns out it’s exactly what I needed this evening.
I’ve had one of those days that don’t really get going properly, and conversation with friends told me that several of us have been in the same – slightly under the weather – boat. Generally fairly sanguine, thinking about the suffering C-19 is causing in every direction has been gnawing at me more than usual. Sometimes lake, ocean and river put me to rights, at others my garden, a walk or an afternoon nap are the answer.
Tonight it’s having this book open in my lap that’s encouraging meditation, gratitude and fellow feeling with others – many suffering C-19 much more than my slightly grizzled mood is. Truth to tell, just having this beautiful book in the house has a great positive effect! A delight …
By ‘eck it were blowin’ on the fabulous long beach at St Anne’s today. My face is glowing and my lungs are full to the brim with good clean Lancashire air. In the first photo here I tried to capture the whoosh and movement involved in the wind’s blowing, drying and pushing hard across the surface of the beach. Broken shells acted as little sand dams and looking at them from above we imagined we were seeing something similar to a newly rediscovered ancient civilisation – an entire buried city brought to life before our eyes by a stiff Lancashire wind. In the second, the mackerel sky suggested rain for tomorrow. Whipped and chilled by the wind today, it was wonderfully sunny!
A poet is a person who “lets drop a line that gets remembered in the morning”
E B White
And that’s what we all want – a being re-membered, re-clothed, re-plenished, re-sourced, re-born and re-cognised in the morning, and every morning … and as we grow we come to recognise with a deep cognisance that it’s absolutely OK to “drop the line” at evening, because we’re wholly confident – here and in all the vast and tiny uni-verse of our eternities – that there will be a remembering in the morning …
Art and remembering echo come to us in so many rich forms. I came across a photo of Aksana Nairanouskaya earlier today and remembered meeting her in Barcelona a few years ago. Her enthusiasm and joy were infectious and, like the city itself, unforgettable. Interestingly though, I came to meet her by way of having first been moved to tears.
Ambling along on one of those balmy Barcelona days, the afternoon temperature just perfect for me, I suddenly felt myself welling up, ‘tears tripping,’ as they say, without immediately knowing why. And then I saw Aksana at her cimbalo, and recognised her playing – on that occasion – what is, to me, one of the most beautiful, but also one of the most haunting, loving, tender, teaching pieces of music on earth: the theme for Schindler’s List. That’s the power of music’s evocation – moved to tears before even properly registering what I was hearing. And ever thereafter still echoing …
Aaah. Beautiful, beautiful Barcelona! … fins la pròxima vegada ...
Some poets say they’ll go on strike and damn it the interest rate has gone to pot again and it might rain and that will wreck your now unaffordable hairdo and your flimsy blue paper mask too – what to do Prime Minister – tell me will you what to bloody do?
This woman looked at oxalis triangularis and picked up her pencil and began to draw – for she knows the score that with breakfast news you can swallow it and suffer or instead turn to muse-create and think of a date for rendez-vous and masked picnic
The news sponge looks grey – past knowing what to do or say – while pencilled oxalis triangulates on paper and her interested eyes lead the artist to surmise that attention given to a fragile leaf must change someone’s mood
David Whyte speaks of ‘the intimacy of your surroundings’ in his ‘Everything is Waiting for You’ – and thereby changed the way I look at life and our world; at a robin, morning mist hung low over the Pennine Ridge at sunrise, a blade of grass, a waxy leaf, the smile of a food hall cashier, the warmth contained in a person’s expressed hopes, spent energy, graced art, delights, desires, grief or pain.
I celebrate the intimacy of my surroundings at home, in the volumes on my library shelves, in growing compost, in oceans, and the great bodies of water in English Lakeland, in who and what I am, in memories, supper, and plans for tomorrow. And I am not alone …
There’s a distinct nip in the air this morning and condensation is blurring the view from the windows here. Everyone I’ve seen has been bright and cheerful – the (very real) concerns of C-19 life in the UK giving way to blue skies, crisp air, freshness and – well – whatever it is that makes us leap up and out and about with enthusiasm on a day like today.
William Stafford reflected in an autumn-sort-of-a-way in his ‘Vocation‘ (link)
Now both of my parents, the long line through the plain,
the meadowlarks, the sky, the world’s whole dream
remain, and I hear him say while I stand between the two,
helpless, both of them part of me:
“Your job is to find what the world is trying to be.”
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage trees …
Autumn mornings like this one have me up from bed and off downstairs, barefoot, to stand for a few moments on the bejewelled grass – and be thankful …
I’m fond of Border Terriers – chiefly because their faces are so expressive. I came across two of them with their human earlier. Each little face – without words – was quite clearly saying: ‘let’s go on adventures.’ And it occurred to me that their freedom of spirit is precisely why they always look so cheerful, and up for whatever’s coming their way. So look out. When we meet I’ll want to chat about what adventures we’ve got lined up!
Funny how little things spark memories and inner warmth. I couldn’t help noticing the very brightly painted, multicoloured fingernails of a lady on our village green today. I was instantly taken back to February this year, in Castries, St Lucia, where I spotted this fabulous little place. El Shaddai is translated in English as ‘God Almighty.’ Who knew that the Divine has their own hair and nail salon? This serves as a prompt to post some more photos of one of the most colourful and friendly places I’ve seen.
Chatting with a friend over lunch today touched upon the beauty of ‘Austen-esque’ language. Full of words and modes of speech that have become rather old-fashioned to contemporary ears, Jane Austen’s classics are no less loved by me for that.
One such word, at least one that I don’t often hear, is ‘enthralled’ – which really quite describes me! On the one hand I’ve begun to believe myself a bit forgetful, and on the other I’m enjoying a kind of renaissance-return to the beguiled delights of curious childhood, before ‘education’ and ‘what you need to do now’ interrupted my reverie.
Today I find myself glad again to have time to take time – and observe that there’s a great deal to have one’s attention held by – often tiny things. Pasja1000 created this marvellous photograph of a single lawn daisy and I am, Miss Bennet, ‘enthralled’ by all that I see (and hear?) in it.