Thursday, 19 November 2015

Out Of The Mist, With Banana And Hope Intact



Feather Tor was the idea, but when we got to Dartmoor it was lost in the mist. So we left the car and followed along the road till we reached a leat. Even without the mist, or the windswept ponies, or the fire twisted bracken, or the stacked granite masses, this leat flows uphill, so magic is here. I have marched many people up this route, because they don’t believe until they are standing downstream and uphill and the water is still flowing. The old stone cross was our next idea, but visibility was closing in. In my bag I had an emergency banana, but far from fully kitted for any navigational errors. We followed the leat back, and the sound of the road. The wind was throwing horizontal rain. It spat through a gap in my toggled hood and drenched me. Dog was zigged and zagged by it; she wanted to get back into the dry car boot space and lie on her rug. I had to crouch and divest as many damp garments as modesty would allow. We put the heater on and sat. Reflected on magic, landscapes, horizons. Felt that hope was not extinct.

NB: The uphill leat is not made up - and there are a few of them - but it is a geographical trick :-)


Pictured here, waiting for Mr to bring hot pasties :-) 




Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Involved





Remembrance Day:

I read, in those lines of names, all the fresh emotion of loss.
It is easier to think of it as in the past, to fix that hurt to a time long gone; to empathise, but not be involved.
This is not how it is.
War has not ceased. The lines of names are not static.
And, beyond this, we ourselves are not immortal. We will be leaving this world, every one of us.
Loss is what our lives should seek to balance.
Be grateful for this chance - be cheerful and bold and embracing and mindful.
Accept yourself.
The best person you can be is not the one who beats you up for not being better.
Push yourself.
Outside the comfort barriers, living begins.
Who died for your right to shuffle in drabness, bored and unfulfilled?
The dream was freedom from oppression.
What would they want to tell us, the people whose names are on that list?
What would they say was important?
Love. The comfort of a well made sandwich. Sunsets. How Aunt Flo never forgot a birthday. A sea breeze. Those friends and family stories of hilarious improprieties. A kind passerby who made up the gap in a bus fare. Coming home.
The details of life, appreciated.
And the bigger picture - the backdrop - is a world in which these details are important.
That would be worth the fight.


Monday, 2 November 2015

A Day Out Of Season





Slept so deep I went underneath sleep, underneath dreams.
I think I slipped out of the universe entirely.
And woke up here.
Warm as summer, the bright air full of small, noisy birds.
I will peg washing out as an offering to this sun.
After walking by the glass river, arms bared; home to drink coffee and eat ice cream, sat at the wobbling pallet table. The seats are damp, nobody cares.
Just sit and taste the bitter-sweet.
Enjoying, before winter comes, a late autumn palliative.