Friday, 30 November 2012

The Thin Line

There's a thin line between night and day, between sleep and awake. Between the two, find the blessing.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Slow Down

Cold Sunset 


On one side of the road, to the West, the sun setting.

On the other, a full moon rises over the ridge to the East.

A cold sunset in a clear sky. Black ice on the road.

The car slides suddenly on a bend, juddering as the ABS kicks in, and we narrowly miss the ditch.

All these things, the world shouting at me "Slow down! Slow down."



Black ice

Full moon

Cold sunset

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Peter Pan in heels

....and Neverland is far away,
too far to fly to without wings,
and outside, rain falls everwhere,
and inside the heaviness of Here.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Cold Night

The air outside so cold it hurts my face. A three quarter moon in a clear sky. The road bright, lit as if by lamplight, and my shadow black against its surface. Stars in their hundreds above, and the dogs sniff the hedgerows catching traces of fox, of pheasant. My breath mists before me, as wrapping my coat tighter, I turn back for home.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

I don't really want to write a story.

Although I sense the boy's fear, as he watches his father walk away from him, and move towards the unknown.

But there's no story. Only the wind whispering it's tales. All the stories have already been told, and in this moment, there is only the fact of it. He's leaving. He's leaving. And the story becomes a song, and the song travels down the valley on the wind. And nobody can follow the wind.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Hospital visit


A hand with long,
thin fingers,
nails unclipped,
takes rasberries,
one by one,
lifting them to tired lips,
as the eyes stare
into middle distance,
straight ahead. 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

"The tragedy of life is not that people die, but that they die to you".

Fyodor Dostoevsky

.....and then one day ten years have passed.....

......and then twenty....

.......thirty, forty, fifty....

And then one day your whole life passes in front of you in seconds; and you know there is no yesterday, no tommorow, that everything happens in the same instant. That we just see it as linear, as going from then to now, to give it some kind of order. To let us make up the stories we need to believe about our lives.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Destination Unknown

There is solid ground under my feet. I don't know where my steps may lead me, but I'll take them one by one. Not knowing the destination.

I might fall into quicksands again. That's ok. I might reach marshy ground, feet heavy in the mud. That's ok. Then one day, I'll reach a big body of water. Maybe an ocean. And I'll have to decide whether I have the courage to leave solid ground behind. But not yet.

For now, gentle steps on solid ground, destination unknown.


~(acrylic on paper - Destination Unknown) ~

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

What Matters

Slow breathing in the early morning.
The wind, raging wild outside the window.
An untroubled mind.

Shelter. Food. Warmth.
A heart resting quiet.
An untroubled mind.

Focus only on this.
A peaceful house.
A gentle cupping.

Feel your mind un-troubling.
Feel your heart nesting, and
Slowly learning a new, steady beat.

As the wind rages outside the house.
As the wolves howl their threats.
As all the threads of the familiar unravel.

Nest in the remnants of the un-troubling, as solid crutches melt away. Four walls keeping out wind and wolves. No need for falling off cliffs. One. Two. One. Two. Steady.

Focus only on this.
Sacred space.
What matters.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Rainbow morning

Fatigue, anger, frustration, impediments, rush, tension, pressure.

Yet as I step outside, there's a rainbow.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Fallow time

In winter
no shoots, no leaves,
no green. Bare branches
shaking in the wind. Thin fingers,
pointing to the sky, resting in this
fallow time, resting in this wintertime
of the soul. Not waiting for spring.
Not waiting for anything. Just
lying gently in brown earth, gently
resting in the dark. Silently
being the seed. Not waiting
for a shoot. Not waiting for
something to germinate.
Resting inside the hard shell,
letting it shelter, letting the
hard frost of winter
do it's work. It's work of
breaking the shell -
But not yet. But not yet.
For now, a time of resting,
in a dark place,
in silence, nurturing
the seed that has fallen.

Monday, 5 November 2012

My grandmother

I'm walking around the rooms in my grandmother's flat. She lived on the first floor of a three storey house, on the corner of Woodland's Road and Showell Green Lane in Moseley, Birmingham. She is competent, capable, caring, SAFE. She's a teacher, a baker, a bird spotter, a story teller, a piano, accordian and harmonica player. She's a survivor.

She died when I was eight or nine. I can see her face clearly in front of me. As if she's waiting. I walk through each room in her flat. The huge square table in the dining room. The silver box we saved money in for trips, on the tiled mantlepiece. The yellow formica fronted cabinet in the kitchen. The paraffin lamp in the bathroom. The living room, hung with Kilim, woven tapestries, the piano in the corner, the big bay window overlooking the road.

Over forty years, and I can still walk through each room, and see her standing there. Still see her face. Strong. Proud. Kind.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

My cherry tree

The book lying open on my lap, I sit with my eyes closed, remembering. A dusty city, a small garden with an oak tree, an apple tree and a cherry tree. Planted as each of us were born, the oak for my eldest brother at the end of the house, the apple just behind the house for my middle brother, and the cherry blossom in the space between the dining room window and the wooden fence for me. I try to imagine the hope and anticipation that went into choosing and planting each tree.

My cherry blossom tree was cut down, quite casually, when I was in my late teens. It had grown too big, was troublesome, caused too much shadow. No one asked me about it, and in the overall picture of everything else that was happening, it seemed unimportant. But I remember it felt like something about my arrival was being erased.

The sound of an plane passing high overhead brings me back to now; soft breathing from the small person tucked in the bed beside me, and a teenager chatting on the phone in the room next door. I think I might plant a cherry blossom, here in my garden, high in the wicklow hills, when spring arrives. A symbol. The opposite of erased.

Moving Towards Redemption



Saturday, 3 November 2012

Empty Space

Bathing
in empty space
full of salt
full of water
rising like waves
salty froth
then falling
collapsing
back into
the depths

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Sunset in Winter

Sun setting on the road from Roundwood to Tomeriland

(Oil pastel sketch)

Oh what a beautiful morning

...and I find myself searching for a word that can describe the strong flood of emotion that sometimes arrives as we stand and look at the beauty of the world around us, or listen to an outstanding piece of music....

There doesn't seem to be such a word. There are words and phrases for surges of negative feeling ( like panic attack), but not for the positive surges.

If anyone knows one, please let me know. (In my dream last night, I knew the word, but in the way of dreams, as I woke, it disappeared...)