Saturday, 21 February 2015

Sadness And Brightness






This urge to write is to let words follow a course.

To think of Granma Grace, 85 years collected, armfuls of flowers, roomful of family, all fetching more flowers till the vases are full. Sat, adored. Lauded. Looking at her cards.

To think of home where a crocus appears in the lawn and rats are infiltrating the compost. We are outside, clearing up, working on deterrents, finding a blocked drain, a wall of calm spiders.
And one starling, deceased.
Mr calls me to it, thinking it is injured, breathing: it is not. A sharp wind ruffles the feathers, makes illusory movement.

To think of Dear Old Clarice: how like a hedge bird she was, the same spark about her, the same work ethic, the same amused head tilt.

We had come home to find an ambulance parked outside her house.
‘Did she fall again?’
‘No,’ the paramedic says. He has a perfect pitch of calm. They must wait for the family.
The sky warm blue; the air blows ice.

We busy ourselves making space. Drag out a pile for the tip, a pile of repurposeful things.
It’s messy, with some kind of a plan.
Chinese New Year, the Green Wood Goat, we talk about that: it means kind, prosperous, hyperbolic horoscopes.
Dog paws about, learning more about rat paths.
I throw a ball and she chases it, over and over, till she flakes in the chilled grass.
I see the luck in it, this standing here, mid-afternoon on a weekday, outdoors, playing with Dog. The rats, the drain-stink, even that: part of my prosperity. Armfuls of stories.
Clarrie had them.
Uncle Den had them.
A long list of people, names that shine.
Shine that flows, riverlike, swells, carries.
This embraceable flow: death is ever the prompt for life.
Which I know and yet always need reminding.
Always need this - what should I call it? Recalibration.

Okay, so following dreams may work or not work, but not dreaming is no option at all.
Fear of failing is flung aside: on the tip pile.
It is this extra daylight perhaps, ushering this renewal?
I will try - I will not try, this thought is diverted quickly: I will do. I will discover what happens next. Throw open my arms to the mess and the clearing up. Relentlessness is part of the cycle. It takes fortitude to follow dreams. I remember this now. Another thing I know and need reminding. We all do.
Sorrows and joys come to shake you, to wake you up.

I had put the starling in the hedge. The firm, palm sized body had no marks on it. It died, that was all. I had put it in the hedge to be a spirit in the lanes. To tell Clarrie we will miss her.
To think of it on her shoulder as she walks her old lanes back through time, back to the source of all light.






6 comments:

  1. It is always best to remember those we loved with love.

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  2. I seldom, no, have never mixed condolences with compliments but kid, "...wall of calm spiders" and Clarrie walking her old lanes back through time just got to me. You are possessed of remarkable kindness and I appreciate it.

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    1. Partly this is a product of where I am and who I know, and, Mr Geo. you are included. And thank you :-)

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  3. It's a beautiful piece. Sad, but serene. I am sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thank you Mr Squid- we are all missing our neighbour :-(

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