It’s been quite a while since I last posted and I would like to thank all those who were kind enough to get in touch to ask if everything was okay.
It’s been a difficult period but the story is not mine to tell. I’m glad to report, though, that the sun is beginning to break through again, however tentatively.
The fragility of life has been at issue and it’s been a time of heightened sensitivity to everything that it is so easy to take for granted.
As always, the ebb and flow of the sea has brought immense comfort. While the world has seemed like a very uncertain and shakey place, the sea has continued to be its beautiful self – rising and falling at the predicted times.
Tonight, I would urge everyone to take time to count their blessings and stop, stop fretting about ‘stuff’ that doesn’t matter one weenchy bit in the grand scheme of things.
Sleep tight, Dear Friends, and thanks for your kindness.
I revel in colour and allowed myself to think about black when I was walking along this path in Mount Congreve the other day.
I have an intense fear of the pitch blackness since I was about five. It happened in an episode of boldness when my brother and I were messing around in the bank office where our father was manager. We had been warned that we were never, ever to go into the office but, of course, that made it all the more tempting. It was a Sunday and Dad had been doing a bit of extra work. He had slipped upstairs for a few minutes so we sneaked in and were playing hide and seek in all the little nooks and crannies that were part of bank offices back then.
The safe where books, not money, were kept was slightly open and I thought it would be a great idea to hide in there. Big bro spotted me going in and thought it would be even better fun to turn the wheel that locked the big steel door of the the safe. I heard the click and found myself in the blackest place you could ever imagine. There wasn’t any light whatsoever and I started to pound on the door and scream at big bro to let me out. The door was so thick I couldn’t even hear him outside.
After what seemed like a lifetime, Dad came to the rescue. Normally he would have been absolutely furious with us for being in the office but when he saw the state I was in he took me in his arms and knew in his heart that I had learned a lesson that I wasn’t likely to ever forget.
Over the years, I’ve given black a lot of thought. It’s a colour I quite like to wear; I love black and white photographs; I adore the blackness of Puppy Stan but I still can’t bear complete blackness and have realised that it is something that is seldom found, a bit like complete silence.
Believe it or not, I even got the heebie-jeebies one day when I tried using a black page for this blog. I had thought it would be exciting to write on black but just froze. One of these days I’m going to give it another try because I want to see where it would bring me.
How are you about black or is there some other colour that messes your head up?
The mere sight of daffodils brings me back to those precious evenings from January to September in 2010 when Father and I chatted, laughed, drank tea, listened to music, sat in companionable silence and enjoyed poetry together.
As he drifted off to sleep I would always return to William Wordsworth’s The Daffodils and without fail Father would join in with me when I reached the last stanza:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
There is much that flashes upon our inward eyes but some things linger there as our anchors of love.
It’s Puppy Stan here and all I can tell you is I’m breathing huge sighs of relief after what’s been a very stressful time since I last wrote.
I can hardly believe that I’m dogging up to this but I feel I have to get it off my chest. It’s a long tailtale but I’ll keep it as short as I can cos it’s hard to even think about it. A dog, who shall remain nameless, attacked me for no reason at all or, at least, I thought we were just going to play. And when I say ‘attacked,’ I mean growling, biting, chewing, snapping, gnawing, pinning me to the ground …..
Jean was in the mix and grabbed me into her arms but the other dog had me by the leg and the tail and just wouldn’t let go. I don’t know how it happened but in all the schmozzle, I, yes Me, STAN, bit Jean in the leg and drew blood.
I was all battered and bruised and bleeding when we finally extricated ourselves from the other dog and was crying like a tiny puppy. I didn’t even know I’d bitten the person I love most in the whole world until we got to the vet and I heard her asking him about her leg. I was sooooooooooooooo ashamed; I don’t think I’ll ever be as ashamed about anything in my whole life again.
I ended up on a pile of meds and wasn’t allowed go walking for ages and the vet told Jean to keep a verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry close eye on her leg and to go to the doctor about it if she had the slightest worry. Anyway, today was our first day back at the beach walking properly.
It was so blue and calm and lovely. I can’t really describe it but there was a sense of peace that everything is okay again that was beyond great.
You know that saying about ‘Never bite the hand that feeds you?’ Well, I want to create another saying: ‘NEVER BITE THE LEG THAT WALKS YOU.’
Hope you all listen well and do what I say and not what I did!
It’s been a topsy turvy week with highs, lows and little or no time in blogland. I apologise for being so lax and for not interacting much at all.
The major high of the week was a delightful swim yesterday with the sun beaming down.
The major low was the death of a dear, dear friend who was a part of my life since I was born and who was a treasured link to both my parents.
It’s hard to say ‘goodbye’ but it is so good to see a person with such a heart of gold being given the chance to die at home in the loving care of devoted grown-up children and supportive home care medical professionals.
A very high percentage of people want to die at home but by no means all are afforded this opportunity.
I sincerely hope that we can work towards enabling everyone to have a choice about where they live out the final years, months, weeks, days and hours of their lives because it matters hugely to both the dying person and his/her family.
The trees are coming into leaf like something almost being said.
There’s so many sides to almostness and I seem to have been witnessing a good few of them lately. The trees coming into leaf are one of the blissful examples while spending time with a very dear friend who is breathing her last has been highlighting another side of this ubiquitous aspect of life.
Somehow, it seems to me, as I think about these opposite ends of the spectrum, that there are times when words don’t feel quite right. Rather, there is the shared knowing, the being at one, the companionable silence. The time for words will unfold in its own natural way and shouldn’t be forced.