February 27, 2008
Didn't you just look in the mirror
Listen beautiful one
The world is rocking with wonderful news
Can't you hear the angels celebrating?
Even the wise ones are smiling
With tears in their eyes
Don't look so surprised
Didn't you just look in the mirror
And realise your own true worth?
Time to stand and watch the birds.
It was very quiet in the village last week. No screaming in the school yard or urchins with sticks and hoops in the road. Naturally I assumed that the child catcher had been round. The daffodils knifed by Jack Frost would regroup and jostle under the sunny skies. On Thursday I saw seven poorly dressed children and a cheery chubby child in a trolley led away up the track to the hills, the piper encouraging them on with tempting sweetmeats.
Robbers broke into the village store in the small hours of the Sunday. Folk gathered in the road, Mrs Leatherwear saw the get away vehicle and heard the driver cursing under his breath, "you be quick now",she heard him say as they ran from the store with baccy in their swag bags.
Anyway, I now find out that it was half term plus an inset culture day out for the teachers. The robbers have not been found. I wonder how far the piper went.
February 25, 2008
Bewteen the worm and the peacock
Someone did say to me the other day, that they didn't feel intelligent enough to comment on all these amazing blog contributions. I know how they feel. But I'm then thinking:
'Who put such a negative and depressed self-image in you? Because you sure weren't born with it!'
And then I'm thinking,
'Wait a minute. Was it just arrogance on their part?' You know, 'I'm too good for all that blog tittle-tattle, but I'll pretend I'm not good enough.'
On the face of it, it can be hard to tell the difference between low self-esteem and arrogance.
But actually, its not hard at all. All arrogance is low-self esteem. But not all low self-esteem is arrogance. Arrogance is a symptom of the condition of poor self-worth; just one of the masks it sometimes wears. Sometimes low-self esteem acts like its a worm. At other times it postures absurdly like a peacock on speed.
So comment, you bastard! Don't let the past shackle your beautiful and entirely wonderful soul. Between the worm and the peacock is your own particular genius, smouldering like a fire on a winter's night.
February 24, 2008
One True Moment
One true moment
Opens you up
To every possibility
Why not give it a go?
Sure beats the hell
Out of dancing
To someone else's tune.
February 23, 2008
"This road is a straight line, looking for some curves"
[theo, aged five, in the back seat after a hard day's shopping]
February 20, 2008
The naked soul of man
Four sentences to treasure (from Sara Wheeler's book on Antarctica)
At ten o'clock on Easter Monday morning, 1916, a diminutive wooden boat lurched off a rock shelf on one of the islands to the north of the Antarctic Peninsula and into the angry Southern Ocean, immediately tossing two of the men on board into the broth. Within minutes the freezing waters of a roller were pouring through the plughole. Standing on the sandless and wind-whipped beach behind, a tall Anglo-Irishman was calmly making final preparations before himself climbing into the boat. His name was Ernest Shackleton.
February 19, 2008
A Sweet Relief
Recently I've been feeling
So upset, so confused
But last night
The beloved came to me
And asked me to kneel down
Then with a mishievous smile
He chopped off my head
What a sweet relief!
February 17, 2008
I always get emotional about leaving a place that has been home for a time - however short that time may have been. Today may have been something of a personal best in this respect... I was walking away from a quiet little monastery in the woods near Gatwick, which had been 'home' for a mere 72 hours - my suitcase trundling rather noisily behind me along the tarmac path - and sure enough the familiar 'leaving pang' crept up on me yet again. Surely I was going home, not leaving home? Yes, I was going home and looking forward to it, but I wonder - is the leaving pang a whispered reminder that no earthly home can ever be more than a port of call?
I think what happened was that the retreat enabled me to slip in to the corner of the heart where I can pray, and that's home in a different sense altogether. I can but visit it now and then and come away again, restored and refreshed for the work I've been given to do "until it's time to come home for good" (to quote a line I read at the monastery which really made me smile).
So I'm left with the question, what is home? Is it the 'cave of the heart', the rare hallowed ground, often sought, occasionally found (even Captain Scott's irresistible 'White South', as mentioned by another Knight recently)? Or is it the security of base camp, where fellow-travellers report back, swap adventure stories and support each other's seeking?
Which leads me to another, slightly more tongue-in-cheek question: as so-called Knights of the Round Table, are we actually supposed to be out there hunting for Holy Grails at all? Didn't see it mentioned in the job description... but maybe that's what some of us are up to in the intervals between rather infrequent reports!
February 15, 2008
Keeping the faith
Mrs. Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue, Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled. "He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out 'Heil Hitler.' "(Bournemouth Evening Echo)
February 12, 2008
Two American stories
Having listened to them both fully this is what I hear:
Obama - there is a story, and I may be part of it
Clinton - I am the story
Spuermarket staff training
The problem for staff in supermarkets is that they are not trained to deal with customers like me. They are no doubt given some instruction on how to deal with angry or possibly violent customers, thieves or just plain nice people but I'm sure they haven't received any training on dealing with the sulky customer. The problem they face is that I do not enter a supermarket in a neutral mood. By that I mean that I'm not waiting to respond to anyone I come into contact with in a similar way to that in which I'm approached. If I was I would respond positively to the till staff when they ask me if I'm having a good day, what I'm doing after the shop and would I like help with the packing. I would probably respond by linking how I was feeling with the current weather (i.e. happy sunny or sad rainy)and thank them for the offer of help to pack my bottle of milk but politely decline.
The problem for them is that I'm not in a neutral mood. I enter a supermarket feeling guilty, annoyed and suspicious. Guilty because I shouldn't be here but in the local grocer's shop or farmer's markets where they sell local. in season foods which haven't exploited a farmer or travelled twice around the world. I'm annoyed because I had to go shopping in the first place and suspicious because I'm being manipulated. There are no strong fishy smells because the fish counter is at the back and the extractor fans take the strong smell away, but for some reason the bakery smells seem to spread around the store. The meat looks nothing like the animal it came from but is nicely cut up, not covered in blood but covered in plastic instead. And is the nice Spanish music trying to get me in the mood for an expensive bottle of Spanish wine which in now displayed at eye level when I'm sure last week it was stuffed down near my feet?
So when the till staff start reading from their happy script they tend to get a rather curt reply with no follow up comments, I take my earphones out but do not get involved in any discussions and provided they quickly realise I'm a lost cause and just shut up no one gets seriously hurt.
So how could they be trained to deal with me? The answer is simple, be themselves, throw away the script and remind me to shop else where.
February 08, 2008
We all have our own White South
"Antarctica left a restless longing in my heart beckoning towards an incomprehensible perfection for ever beyond the reach of mortal man. Its overwhelming beauty touches one so deeply that it is like a wound." (Edwin Mickleburgh, Beyond the Frozen Sea)
It was important for Scott to die.
Amundsen, after his great triumph, was back in Norway soaping himself in the bath. His brother appears in the doorway to tell him that Scott died on the journey back from the Pole.
"So he has won" says Amundsen quietly.
February 07, 2008
What to do when madness takes over
Hello it's me again, i havn't blogged in a while, this is due to me being taken over by aliens, in other words i've been in a kind of crazy place, Mr Parke, kind soul that he is said it would have been really interesting to blog my meltdown, but you'll have to forgive me for not wanting to go public with my madness, there are some things a lady just likes to keep to herself.
I did however find some things very helpful during this time, one being talking/sobbing with friends(you know who you are) Thankyou and may you be rewarded on earth just in case you don't get to heaven! The next was observing and laughing at the craziness that had taken me over, i couldn't stop it and at times it took me far from home, but keeping watch was the still place at the bottom of a raging sea.
The third thing was swimming, which i have recently taken up on the advice of my physio, Being physical allowed me respite from the madness of my head space. According to a friend who watched me swim, i'm a bit of a demon in the water, my swimming may be unconventional but beware if you wander into my slip stream,I'm fast and tend to change direction unknowingly. On Wednesday i managed to hook a toy boy with my wide arm crawl, not sure if he was quite so keen on his grab a granny, shame really!
February 05, 2008
It's the Undertaker...oh no it...oh yes it is!
We're so busy blogging in Bracombe-by-Cranford. The blogmaster came by with his birch. We've precious little to blog about but we'll be turned out without a farthing if he finds us idle.
It seems I misunderstood the invitation to the round table and worried about the dress code. Surely not Black Tie. Casual? Or most difficult of all 'smart casual'. Many's the snare and delusion I've snagged my muffler in 'smart casual' department.So, I've removed my apron and trust my sprigged muslin is not cosidered too jaunty for Shrove Tuesday.
Anyway it's Panto week, and for four evenings and a matinee the younger memebers of the cast will spend their off stage hours in my kitchen abutting the Village Hall. Obviously to be cheek by jowl with the pouting Dame, several members of the fire brigade and random footballers and Jock the Scottish one, is a risk none of us would contemplate. Apparently it's slightly sub prime in that the Dame/Builder/Undertaker has four changes only, of costume.
Many hours of merriment will be filling the dark evenings. And the railway might still come to the village.
Lent is now officially a free-for-all. I don't recall any medieval texts (nor biblical ones, for that matter) recommending forty days of lightbulb changing, so, by my reckoning, that means there's a new rulebook around.
I've always had myself down as a free spirit where church observance is concerned. Why conform to this exhausting annual round, just because some pope or other decreed that we should squish Jesus's whole life into one year, and then do it all again next year, etc. I'd favour a more natural timespan, except that waiting 30 years for Christmas to come round again would appeal to nobody but the clergy.
This is a roundabout way of saying hello to Round-tablers, and apologising for my absence for the past, well, always. My lenten observance this year, then, is to catch up a bit with my correspondence - yes, Mother, that does mean you'll be getting a letter. And that includes Simon and my invitation to contribute to the round table, too.
The trouble with the free-spirit approach is that the old give-up-enjoying-yourself stuff is still floating around in my psyche. I've learnt to deal with this by giving in to it. One of my strongest churchgoing memories is sitting smugly in an Ash Wednesday service, happy in my decision to read the Bible more, or pick up litter, or some such. Then a shaft of conviction cut through the ceiling and made straight for my pew. "No alcohol or sweets." I remember looking around, wondering whom this was aimed at. Oh bugger.
Resignation is an under-valued virtue. (I keep mentioning this to odd members of my staff, but they don't take the hint.) So, as I write this, I have a glass of Pinot Grigio to my right, a slice of ridiculously expensive Austrian cheesecake to my left, and the prospect of forty days of abstinence ahead of me. Apart from Sundays, of course, but that's another story.
February 04, 2008
I enjoy sleeping and spending time in my bed a great deal. For me it is where I start and finish my day, whatever happens in between. It is a warm place where I can go anytime and I will always be welcomed. A place to reflect on what I have been doing and to contemplate new plans for what is ahead. It is a safe place where peace is present and anger is left behind.
When a friend told me an unfortunate 'bed story' recently however, I could see that beds are not always such great places to be. He,a nurse, went in to have his tonsils removed. For this he was put under general anesthetic. When he awoke feeling groggy as one usually does, he looked up to see a female student nurse standing over him holding a sponge. In general circumstances this would be a pleasing sight. This particular student though had previously worked with him a few months ago and they had not seen eye to eye. Feeling very vulnerable, he asked her if it was possible for someone else to give him a sponge bath (not sure why he needed one anyway?). Looking down however, he realised that he was wearing a different gown and underwear than the ones that he entered surgery in. It then dawned on him that the sponge bath had in fact already been completed.
Where I leave the 'bad' at my door, he left his 'bad' on the hospital bed and promptly left asap.