Alexander Averin

Wednesday 6 May 2009

Momentous Occasions

Dear Diary,

I am struggling to write a poem, never a good idea, a poem usually flies in and calls me to write, beginning with a line or two, coming as a flash from who-knows-where. They call it the well of imagination don‘t they?

Our writing group homework this month is to write about a ‘momentous occasion’ and the subject has been mulling around in my head because I know what I want to write but the words won’t come; it’s as if the occasions I have chosen as subject matter are so momentous they have been filed away in the hard drive of my being as a video recording. I heard the other day that those moments we all recollect - times like when Kennedy was assassinated, John Lennon shot, Princess Diana died etc - we all remember exactly where we were when we heard the news and when we recall it to mind we see the scene again; who else was there, what we said etc as there is a special part of our brains that stores all these little details. I am always taken back to the spot, the event is replayed before my eyes and I can give the commentary word for word.

I want to write about holding my new babies, both of them; it would be disloyal to say the first was more ‘important’ as both events have equal measure of emotion. The same feeling comes when you hold a new grandchild. These occasions are my most momentous in the sense that they are joyful but the word joyful is somehow inadequate as an adjective - there is no word to describe the extreme happiness on these birth-days. Perhaps that is why I find it hard to write a poem about it as there are no words fit for purpose. For it is but a moment... but the joy, the bliss, the feeling of fulfilment lasts a lifetime and beyond and cannot be distilled into an instant.

There are so many momentous occasions in life  -   births, deaths, achievements of varying kinds, meetings of soul mates, falling in love. Seeing a ghost. I may dig out the blog I wrote some time ago about my experience of the paranormal.  Finding my family and my roots was also momentous, something particular to me and those like me who have grown up without a sense of identity for a great part of their lives.

Of course not all momentous occasions are good ones.

There are bad moments of course, some so bad that I shall not ever consign them to paper as I do not want to give them energy. As the cliché goes ‘into each life some rain must fall’ - well I have had more than some - I have had torrents!

I decided to take another tack on the subject and write about moments as an abstract concept and while driving to work one morning this week I became inspired and had practically a whole poem come to me. I vowed to write the lines down when I reached the library but after opening up and the arrival of a borrower, all was lost. It still nags at me now because I was pleased with some of the lines that had flown into my head.

Some folks write on trains; is there something about passive movement through space, combined with solitude that sometimes stimulates creativity?

Changing the subject now.

We have two cock pheasants living on our little holding of land, they are both quite tame - one we call Hopalong as he is lame on one leg and the other is Buck (Buck Jones?), I looked out of the window the other day and saw Buck up on the bird feeding station, feeding from a seed-feeder!  I took a photo through the window but it has not come out very clearly as the  window was dirty (No, surely not?). Also the seed-feeder was near-empty so all in all it does not make for a good picture. (Note to self - clean window, fill feeder, watch and wait).

Sammy Squirrel is a regular now outside the kitchen window and he nibbles the nuts on both feeding stations in the back and the front gardens. The housemartins haven’t arrived yet and I live in fear that they will not return as each year their numbers diminish. We are having the cottage re-painted this year so I hope that won’t upset them.

Everything in the garden is bursting into life, including the weeds. I have never seen so many dandelions as I have this year - someone said that this heralds a hot summer. I am torn between leaving them as their bright yellow flowers are cheering, especially on the roadside verges but they would take over a garden given half a chance so I hack them off with the hoe. I am like a fellow blogger who goes by the name of Perpetual Weeder, it is a job that never ends - is it just us? I refuse to use chemicals so everything has to be dug up by hand and my body suffers the next day if I overdo it (and I am always prone to overdoing it). Buttercups are coming up too; I love their sunny yellowness but have to be ruthless with these plants though I do leave a few clumps around as they as so pretty. If only they could contain themselves and not creep around trying to take over the whole show.

Time for Blessings I think.

Blossoms which are everywhere.
Inspiration - when it comes.
Treasured Moments stored in my memory.
Bluebell woods, pure heaven, I saw my first one this year in the Brecon Beacons yesterday.
New Life in all its forms.

I’ll sign off now,

Have a good day and may it be filled with the very best kind of moments,



Pipany said...

Lovely blog thank you Cait. Perpetual weeder could well be my nme too. I am running out of alcoholic beverages to turn them into!
I haven't written any peotry for many a long while, but am feeling the stirrings just lately. Also for sketching which has taken a back seat. Good luck with yours x

Milla said...

very good to try to maintain newness, otherwise, yes, the first only would have any import and having had 2 children how could that be so! A sense of shifting ones ability to react and staying young as you get old. Oh what am I saying, I always feel my meaningfulness prompted by your blogs and am then too silly to deal with it. Which is possibly another reason why I don't write poetry. Good luck with yours though!

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

I don;t know whether it would be considered proper to do it but... on the topic of being able to capture a poem, when one can't write it down... Could you carry a little tape recorder with you, for such times?

And the pics of the pheasant at the feeder may not be totally clear, but you captured a moment! And that's what counts. And they are plenty clear enough, to do just that. :-)

'Aunt Amelia'

Pondside said...

Good morning, Cait. There's so much here in this post - where to start? Perhaps another read of it.
I'm with you on momentous occasions. What is joyous to one is angst-ridden to another, and how can you start to order things like birth, finding a family etc?
I have taken to carrying a little, tiny notebook in my purse because I too was losing ideas that popped into my head. I find if I just write a word it will later help me to draw back the entire thought.
Of course, this only works when I remember that I have the notebook!

DAB said...

Cait, I've started to write poetry I'm finding it enjoyable but somewhat a challenge.Funnily enough my political poems are flowing. Good material floating around methinks ;-) Try and carry a small notebook with you. Good Luck TFx

Calico Kate said...

Lovely thought -full & -provoking blog Cait thank you.
Our buttercups don't creep .... they sprint!

Kim said...

Hmm. I think there might be something wrong with me. I remember having each child, the circumstances, the delivery and such, but I cannot remember holding any of them for the first time. Maternal exhaustion, maybe?

Frances said...

Once again, Cait, your beautiful writing and original thinking have taken me to a place I would not otherwise have known.

Thank you!

The pictures of that bird and that bird feeder are something I would never see around these parts, if not for you.

When your wrote about a thought out idea for a poem leaving suddenly ... dispatched my some other message arriving on the runway of your brain ... it struck a familiar spot in my own brain.

It happens to me all the time, both with written and visual ideas. Why is it that something perhaps precious and unique to us gets scattered by something not so unique. It that some sort of Darwinism? I've got no idea.

Know I do love your blogs!


DJ Kirkby said...

Such great photos Cait! I would have watched those two birds for as long as possible.

Mary-Laure said...

Poetry is such a mystery...

Exmoorjane said...

Lovely blog as always Cait. Isn't it so annoying when the perfect lines run through your head while in the car or whatever, only to be lost when pen and paper are to hand? I love train journeys and do indeed get a lot of creative work done in the peace and quiet.
Weeding? Let's not go there please!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I know what you mean. There are some experiences that seem set apart from the realm of language somehow. The feelings are just too big to define with simple words.

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Love your photos. I could sit and look out of the window at the goings on in the garden for hours.

I have no idea at all about poetry, and admire anyone who can write it.

Carah Boden said...

Hello Cait, I'm sorry I haven't been over to visit for too long now. Anyway, I'm glad I have today because, as ever, there is much food for thought. I have so many ideas for songs and writing when I am driving in the car - when alone, and even more so in the dark when there is so much less visual distraction. Lying in bed at night, too, is another obvious one. And then, as you say, you finally find the moment to write and Poof! it's all disappeared...! I keep meaning to take a notebook everywhere but then I end up with scribbles which get lost amongst the shopping lists and all the other rubbish in my life!

I agree so much too about identity. One side of my family is unknown. It's difficult. Where do I come from? What makes me what I am? So many unanswered questions.
We all need a context for our existence. I feel, too, for your 'torrents of rain'. Life can be very hard.

On a lighter note, buttercups. Lovely, but I have to keep a tight rein on them too in our garden! Having cleared an entire huge bed of them once, I am reluctant to let them take over again!
Bluebell woods - so beautiful. And talking of beautiful, I love the painting illustrating your blog. Atmospheric, calm, restful. Like you!

Thank you for visiting me the other day too.

Carah Boden said...

PS: You referred in your comment on mine that you were living in Sussex at some point. Where were you? I was Sussex born and bred - Hurstpierpoint then Haywards Heath then Lindfield.

CAMILLA said...

Such a lovely post Cait.

Wonderful pictures, and the view from your Cottage window is breath-taking, can see the lambs on the meadow.

You may be sitting quietly one day and that poem in your head will come back to you Cait. This happened to me once, I now stop the car and scribble things down on scrap of paper if I am driving, for fear that I may not remember.