Time well spent

more @gardenstudiogram

I ‘read’ photographs in much the same way I read books: daily and with an eye to every detail. Memory teachers speak of the value in ‘attaching’ images to what we want to remember. I think I’ve always ‘thought’ primarily in pictures and poems but, while they’ve helped recall many things, they’ve been no use whatsoever to my non-existent mathematical skills!

I’ll revisit today’s collection of beach photos perhaps years from now – among hundreds of such collections of the same or similar subjects, and will almost be able to ‘feel’ the flashing of neurons: conversations half heard on the bus, temperature, cloud formation, the first lines of a poem in response to flashing past the familiar outline of Arthur’s Seat, the smell of the sun-warmed salted timbers of the coastal groynes, the extent to which the presence or absence of ‘the haar’ obliterates or magnifies Inchkeith Island set in Blackness Bay, the beach café and what I chose to eat, the evening light, the lines at the bus stop, innumerable details of all that I meet.

Words and imagery are, I suppose, external representations of the inner journals of our lives. While what we think shapes today’s reality and that of our future, that thinking is itself shaped by the ‘photographs’ of every second of our lives lived to date. So I believe that time spent with ‘good’ imagery is time well spent. Perhaps you’d guessed that already? 😉📷

Tidal river – Se souvenir 💕✨

Four years after your
soul soared our days of baguettes
and paté delight me

💕✨for JMT

“This old fisherman’s house beside a tidal river in Morbihan is a place we visit in our dreams all year round. Rain, hail or shine in the UK, we remember the sights and sounds of the France I’m seeing and hearing now, on a quiet Sunday morning, as we’re summoning up the will to bestir ourselves to cycle down to the boulangerie for coffee, bread, morning pastries and watching the world go by.

There’s a definite hint of autumn in the air here. Conkers fallen to footpaths amongst the earliest shed leaves. Choral birdsong, bright and familiar, just feet away from the wide-open French windows. The exquisitely distinctive sound of the river lapping at its banks and the gentle turning of the boats as the tide changes. Apple trees laden. Poetic lines come to mind but none so fine as the waking to the sights and sounds of a riverside Sunday morning en Bretagne.”

Tidal River, 18 September 2016

The 10th

J and R 💕

Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living Child,
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome Wild.

O’er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.

William Wordsworth
The Ballad of Lucy Gray

In sunny Funchal, Madeira, I’m thinking today, of course, of my beloved old Dad on what would have been his 90th birthday; he’d memorised all 16 stanzas of ‘Lucy Gray’ as a young teenager and his reciting the great poem for my late wife and I, word perfect, not long before he (and soon after, she) died, four years ago, is among my dearest memories. My parents’ enthusiasm for sailing oceans is with me now every day as I have followed suit – and it was a great joy to have my mother with me when, during a Mediterranean tour, we visited many of the holiday favourites of their early married years.

Oe’r rough and smooth we all trip along – and though, of course, we’re sometimes singing our ‘solitary’ song, and memory’s tears well in our eyes, still, in our hearts, our loved ones abide 💕

For all that has been, thanks
For all that will be, yes!

Dag Hammarskjöld

Shoreline

butihondo-fuerteventura_4.jpg
playa butihondo photo at hellocanaryislands

Down the dusty slope to the long sweep of
gold sand and the beach café’s garlic gambas
and Pablo’s distinctively rich dark brown
coffee where the chief scent of the morning

is of suncream and warmed skin and quiet
conversation is accompanied by
out-of-control symphonies of wind-blown
wires thrashing the masts of a rainbow of

sailboards – and yes – we come here every year
to tell again of the turquoise and the
turtles and shyly aware faithfulness
to-a-fault to these times and to these hot

prawns and coffee like this and even to
the same sun oil and quieting stilling
soothing murmur of the ocean of love
and abiding in hearts and souls that know

one another so well that the shoreline
paddling and the holding hands and the light
and the deep and the sad and the funny
conversation and affectionate and

glad recollection will carry us both –
after our falling into the deepest
of deep sleeps – unto shoreline and sunshine
of our universal eternity

Then and now and will be

IMG_7149.jpg

for JMT, 1960-2018, on the eve of her birthday

And on the hillside
where we stood
elevated
the something that passed
between us
as though it were a
tidal current was already
as old and as new as the
Ancient of Days – in the
retrospect and in the
there and then and now
and in the prospect of
all eternity

That light, that current –
illumination and anticipation
launched a something that
is the everything
Immortal –
Yes, something to be
heard
like a song among the
stars, laughing and crying
held safe and aloft and
flying –
on that hillside
held and holding

Surprised
you and I encountered a
Divine Love and knew it to be
an Undying
in us, primarily
in those graced moments
but also in whomsoever –
and all are ultimately
capable of simply
letting go, and smiling and
then the final thankful sighing –
oh, little one, yes, you
great one

Elevated, celebrated: I love you

SRM