Monday, 3 September 2007
Melancholia,, Creativity and Constancy
My pics are by Paul Henry who is my favourite Irish artist, possibly my favourite artist of all. His landscapes are of the west of Ireland, my spiritual home. I have posted some of his before so forgive me if there are one or two you may have already seen.
“And you would accept the seasons of your heart just as you have always accepted that seasons pass over your fields and you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.”
Yes I want to write about the changing of the seasons. It is, for me, that melancholic time again when tiredness strikes, foundless fears arise and needless worries come to the surface like bad energies needing to be cleared. Perhaps that’s why I’ve chosen a sad poem for you today, one that I stumbled across in the wee small hours of this morning. I’ve been getting attacks of insomnia just lately, waking in the middle of the night or in the early hours.
And here is the poem, chosen for its mood, not the content you understand.
Moving from Cheer to Joy, from Joy to All,
I take a box
And add it to my wild rice, my Cornish game hens.
The slacked or shorted, basketted, identical
Are selves I overlook. Wisdom, said William James,
Is learning what to overlook. And I am wise
If that is wisdom.
Yet somehow, as I buy All from these shelves
And the boy takes it to my station wagon,
What I’ve become
Troubles me even if I shut my eyes.
When I was young and miserable and pretty
And poor, I’d wish
What all girls wish: to have a husband,
A house and children. Now that I’m old, my wish
That the boy putting groceries in my car
See me. It bewilders me he doesn’t see me.
For so many years
I was good enough to eat: the world looked at me
And its mouth watered. How often they have undressed me,
The eyes of strangers!
And, holding their flesh within my flesh, their vile
Imaginings within my imagining,
I too have taken
The chance of life. Now the boy pats my dog
And we start home. Now I am good.
The last mistaken,
Ecstatic, accidental bliss, the blind
Happiness that, bursting, leaves upon the palm
Some soap and water–
It was so long ago, back in some Gay
Twenties, Nineties, I don’t know . . . Today I miss
My lovely daughter
Away at school, my sons away at school,
My husband away at work–I wish for them.
The dog, the maid,
And I go through the sure unvarying days
At home in them. As I look at my life,
I am afraid
Only that it will change, as I am changing:
I am afraid, this morning, of my face.
It looks at me
From the rear-view mirror, with the eyes I hate,
The smile I hate. Its plain, lined look
Of gray discovery
Repeats to me: “You’re old.” That’s all, I’m old.
And yet I’m afraid, as I was at the funeral
I went to yesterday.
My friend’s cold made-up face, granite among its flowers,
Her undressed, operated-on, dressed body
Were my face and body.
As I think of her I hear her telling me
How young I seem; I am exceptional;
I think of all I have.
But really no one is exceptional,
No one has anything, I’m anybody,
I stand beside my grave
Confused with my life, that is commonplace and solitary.
On a lighter note now, I’ve received a Creative Blogger Award from Laurie, a journalist blogger in America.
The price of such a treasured gift is for me to pass the same award on to five other bloggers who I think are worthy of such a prize. I’ve thought long and hard about this and it has been very difficult to whittle it down to only five so forgive me if you are reading this and think you should be included, you probably should but I am only allowed five.
I am told it is not an award for the quality of the writing alone, rather for the ‘creative elements’ presented that contribute to the final product.
And they are: in alphabetical order:
This site is beautiful and full of creative treats, not least her own wonderful poems and the selection of great pictures.
This site is a spiritual artist’s treat for you of photographs and more and one that is all-embracing of the nature of Wales. A must for tree-lovers.
Another site that lovers of art will enjoy. She presents atmospheric photos and also her own works of art and gives such a flavour of life in New York that you could almost be there with her. An absolute must-read.
This site is also a feast for the eyes with photos and words so tasty that you could almost ‘eat’ them and they are arranged so beautifully. (Country Living eat your heart out).
Last but not least:
Un Peu Loufoque…true creative originality here and a blog that is guaranteed to make you laugh as well. A must-read if ever there was one and well worthy of publication if you ask me. To crown it all there are paintings to enjoy every day. What more can one want?
As I said, I could have included others that I love and there are also those whose writing is superb but whose blogs would be eligible for other awards rather than the ‘creative‘ one.
Blessings before I go?
Sometimes I feel I can only count on the constants in our lives but are there such things? I think there are. Yes I know that all things shall pass - this is sometimes a reassuring thing but can also be a sad one too, the passing of seasons, people, etc. all things are transitory. Perhaps you can come up with some ‘constants’ in your life?
The best I can come up with today are these……
The innocence of children, yes they grow out of it but it is wondrous at the time.
The faithfulness of our pets. In that respect perhaps only dog/cat/other animal lovers like myself may understand.
Words and music. Speaking of which, if you need comfort do listen to Sara Maclachlan's videos below (pause my audio tape first or you will get both playing at once).
Sunshine. Far from constant I know but the Sun is till up there, I know I’ve seen Her shining today! But perhaps the lack of enough of it has affected all of us this year?
Mother Nature. She may change her clothes but she supports us (so far) and is far more beauteous than anything a mere mortal can create.
Farewell for now,
I hate goodbyes,