The whole life of man is but a point of time, let us enjoy it.
Plutarch 46 AD-120 AD
I haven’t written of Blessings for so long, or posted a poem, so I shall be doing both today.
Blessings……… first for a change.
Time. This is a gift we would all like for Christmas really and surely it is the one thing that most of us crave more of. I feel a New Year resolution coming on, a bit soon perhaps, but I think I shall be seeking ways to save more time for myself in the future, as in our modern lives I see it as the most precious commodity.
The slow movement has much to commend it. Slow food, slow time, soft time indeed. Anyone read the book by Gill Edwards entitled Pure Bliss? It is a great book about this very subject and the word soft that she uses to describe time is an appropriate adjective. I too love dreamy time, meditative time, daydreaming.
Talking of dreamy time, I went to a Richard and Judy roadshow for children recently, the only one held in Wales. It took place at the very fine Wyeside Arts Centre in Builth Wells. Three children’s authors were talking about their books which are on the R & J shortlist. I took two of my granddaughters and K was especially pleased as Cathy Cassidy, one of K’s favourites, was one of the writers. I would also add that her books are great favourites with the girls at my library.
I was pleased to see that there were lots of children there and they had the opportunity to ask the authors questions. Cathy spoke about daydreaming and how it had helped her become a writer - she actually thought that daydreaming should be part of the schools’ curriculum. A girl after my own heart if ever there was one.
Everyone says that this year has flown by. I have never known twelve months pass so quickly and I worry that this phenomenon will worsen each year. I've come to the conclusion that time only quickens when we pack too much into it, so that only leaves us one solution doesn’t it? If we persist with our need for everything to be presented to us quickly and our almost-lust for speed both in our mode of travel and in every action taken from dawn to dusk, what chance have we of making time pass more slowly?
It is only when you meditate on time that you realise that actually it doesn’t really exist; time is a man-made linear thing, There is only the Present and that is the precious gift that we are erasing, in our constant struggle, as we rush, rush, rush.
Even our river is rushing past and white horses race by upon her. The wind is blowing a gale and if it’s this bad in our sheltered valley, I know it will be much worse higher up in the hills. I enjoy these wild extremes of weather and am a self-confessed lover of rain. Today it falls in torrents and is pounding on the roof. Bliss! I hate weather that just ‘sits’; those dull, still, grey days, they are the worst.
The cottage smells of gloss paint and it’s making me feel quite lousy. The emulsion doesn’t affect me but the fumes from the gloss paint give me a sick and headachy feeling. There is no escape though if I want more colour in my life.
I now have a rich red kitchen and I love it. Like a scarlet woman she comes into her own at night when she really shows off her warmth and passion. It suits this time of year of course and someone even described it as very Christmassy (ouch!).
There will be no more painting now for a while as I have nearly banished all my white walls. Only my bedroom and what we call the wash-house remain so and three quarters of the little room upstairs that we call the study. (One of its walls is pretty pink). I have a sexy pink bathroom with blue beams, a honey gold snug and sitting room and a pink guest cum ‘music room‘.
M and I had to go to a local market town this week and though it was raining very heavily we managed to do a wee bit of shopping. I went into an Air Ambulance charity shop and found two beautiful old china tureens, tea plates, dessert dishes and a large oval plate (Fantasia, dusky pink floral). In another tiny shop I fell in love at first sight with a Nomad, burgundy coloured, long-sleeved midi dress and most unusual, I just bought it, without even trying it on. I told myself if it didn’t fit I would either return or see if my daughter wanted it but when I got home and slipped it on it fitted perfectly.
My Christmas present to myself, I always treat myself to one. I hope you do too.
This town also has a good butcher’s shop and we bought some of their award-winning pork and leek bangers and a couple of their tasty Welsh cheeses.
My final blessing? Photographs. I should really have mentioned this one before. I’m going to start posting some of our own pics, mainly they will be M’s as he is the photographer in the family.
Before I go I promised a poem, I hope you like this one. It’s from the latest Salmon collection, the Irish publishers. See the link on this page.
The Day The Horizon Disappeared
Cast out, flung to the furthest rim of neediness,
then caught there in the branches of the danger tree,
where meaning dwells, out of reach, attached
on its green stem at the very edge of dreaming,
a sign repeating itself through branches
surging in air. Wind surrounds and blows through us.
And whose hand is tearing strips from the sky,
And whose hand will seed wild grasses
on the worn nap of the threadbare world?
I’ll sign off now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,