Friday, 16 January 2015

Numbers, Monsters And A Samurai Strawberry


Polytunnel In Winter. Limes to the right, sprouts to the left.

Mr and me read the sum of our achievements from last year’s signed off accounts.
‘Hmmm…’ (A phrase that should not be translated politely and thus is left as is.)
One of us fills the kettle.

Monsters stick with you, they are not just for childhood.
They slick along the sidelines, breathing warmth into doubtful blooms.

No escape is found in the winter garden.
Under perspex shelter the lime has dropped its fruit.
A wall of rain compounds the isolation.

Why are we here? In this sad and beautiful place?
One finger reaches out to trace the shape of a leaf. Imagines, gently, that this is the colour, perhaps the same curve, as a monster’s head?

Smiles, then.

Are they as you wish them, these slinking fears?
Three times, four times? We have lost a home, made a new place for ourselves. It has been close. This feels close: teeth at heels.

A sprout is pinched from a stem and crunched.
There was a samurai, the story says, a tiger chased him to the edge of a cliff. He climbed down and saw a bear pacing hungry at the foot of this cliff. His perch was precarious. Wild strawberries grew within reach: not in enough abundance to placate a bear. He ate one. It was the best strawberry he had ever had.

Rain crumbles, and the starlings sing.

Indoors, left by the kettle, the sum remains the same. Imaginary monsters snooze by the Rayburn.


If you look hard enough, you can clearly imagine  strawberries.




12 comments:

  1. My dear, precious friend. You need to live in the sun. I am sending you the very best love of my heart.

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    1. Received with gratitude :-) x I should know better than to let those monsters misbehave- but then perhaps they are the very things that make me reach further and think bigger.

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    2. Shawn and I were having a long conversation about integrating the shadow, which I have had to face longer and harder than I ever have before living in a gloomy, overcast climate when I am a sun-worshipper in the extreme. There have been times when he has wondered if I was actually struggling for all I was worth against a depression triggered by the lack of light and the long, dark days of an oppressive, sodden winter. Summer is a completely different story, with its glorious 16-hour days and its tyrannical heat. (Savored every sweaty second.)

      In any event, our long conversation included the difference between demons and shadow. Shadow is a part of us that longs for acceptance and to be intergrated. Demons, well, according to us, those are the forces that would set teeth to our heels. But then Shawn called them something else: illusions. For, finally, good wins. Why, then, I sit there and think, all the pain in the interim?

      'Perhaps they are the very things that make (us) reach further and think and bigger.'

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    3. Illusions is the right word- puts the demons in their place!
      Which is oft easier said than done... but without these struggles we understand less. Sodden winters are the toughest to appreciate, especially for a desert flower. Here's hoping we reach and think far enough to make it all feel worthwhile - and looking forward to that future coffee whatever the weather :-) xx

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    4. Been thinking about you a lot. Knit in spirit.

      xx

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    5. Hence the lift I've felt today :-) It makes a difference xx

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  2. I hope they bloom to your heart's content - pray for the bear.

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    1. I was never told the end of the story- so have inferred that the samurai became a Buddha, and the tiger and the bear, having brought enlightenment to the samurai, also became Buddhas. Meanwhile on earth, strawberries galore :-)

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  3. An elegant meditation, Lisa. I confess myself often unable to concentrate on the strawberry.

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