Category Archives: LOVE

Inheritance tracks Part Two

epsein

Baby awake . Walsall Art Museum

This is the second poem I want to share .Motherhood is such a large part of my persona that watching my sons develop into young men brings their absence from my daily round into sharp relief. Nevertheless it is an experience that has shaped me and tested me . As a young woman in my twenties there was virtually no consideration of the possibility of me having children – life was simply busy, and I had none of the maternal cravings that others seemed to feel.  I had never been around babies – I was the youngest – and had no extended family that included them.  I lived to work and to play , and did both probably harder than was good for my well being. So motherhood arrived in my early thirties – a biological imperative kicked in which I could neither explain nor ignore.  I was ignorant of all things to do with being pregnant and  further on ,of small human beings that had lots of demands. I was adrift in an alien landscape without a map.  I struggled. I loved this little stranger with a ferocity I had never experienced. He was a baby in pain during the first few weeks, and was not thriving. I was encompassed totally by my responsibility towards him, and increasingly tormented. It was not a happy time, and yet it was full of wonder and awe  and deep, deep love.

This poem by Sylvia Plath suggests the alienation that I felt at that time.

Love set you going like a fat gold watch. 

The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry

Took its place among the elements. 

Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue. 

In a drafty museum, your nakedness 

Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls. 

I’m no more your mother 

Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow 

Effacement at the wind’s hand. 

All night your moth-breath 

Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen: 

A far sea moves in my ear. 

One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral 

In my Victorian nightgown. 

Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. The window square 

Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try 

Your handful of notes; 

The clear vowels rise like balloons.

My first outing without my baby was instigated at the insistence of my husband and mother, and I was literally harangued into making an attempt to rejoin the world. I went to Walsall art musuem , where I was moved to my core by an Epstein bronze of a baby’s head. It inspired me to write my own poem. Its not a good poem, but it reminds me.

Bronze baby

Bronze baby, Epstein’s child.
Perfect depiction of infant
beauty, human fragility.
Lovingly carved, sculpted
polished, held. Immortalised
infant head of exquisite
timelessness.  How I want
to secrete you, cradle you.
placed so unprotected
in our midst.
You spoke to me that day,
slashed through silence,
touched a delicate, fragile
part of me, the voice I was
so unsure of. In the newness
of my motherhood,
you showed me what it means
to be a child.

I took your message away,
kept it safe, inviolate,
next to my heart. Today,
a decade late, I know
the voice I heard was not
the sound of my  newborn
but my own, untended
and unheard.

An inheritance, Part One

YeatsI think of death and it reminds me to consider how to live.  I contemplate the brevity of a lifespan and know that choices are important. I am not ready to die, nor possibly will ever feel so, but I am ready to consider what I want to pass on.

As Hamlet replies to Polonius , when questioned on what the matter is that he is reading …’Words, words, words.’

Language is the river we swim in daily, the route to communication, miscommunication, love and hatred. It is paradoxically the most powerful of medium and the least effective.

There is a radio programme on a Saturday morning that delivers inheritance tracks – those pieces of music that the particular contributor wants most to pass down to their loved ones – in  a similar manner I give you my inheritance tracks – written ones.

I begin with Margaret Atwood, a writer who always has something of note to say and always with style. I love her novels, but this is a short poem that for me describes the atmosphere of a new relationship perfectly.

Habitation — Margaret Atwood

[1939–current, Canadian]

Marriage is not 

a house or even a tent 

it is before that, and colder: 

The edge of the forest, the edge 

of the desert 

the unpainted stairs

at the back where we squat 

outside, eating popcorn 

where painfully and with wonder 

at having survived even 

this far 

we are learning to make fire

Source: Atwood, M 1970, Procedures for Underground, Little, Brown.

The line  ‘it is before that, and colder:’  has the perfection of a musical note precisely measured – with just the right element of surprise to quicken the curiosity.

I chose this poem because the five boys that I have the privilege of loving – two my own sons, three from my husbands first marriage, are all embarking on long term relationships. It is this fundamental relationship with a partner that has been the central impetus to my own life – I am introverted and have little need for a wide circle of friendship, but without the anchor of a committed loving relationship I feel adrift and anxious. And I like fire.

With that moon language

moonlit nitght

With That Moon Language

Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”

Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.

Still though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect. Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye that is always saying, with that sweet moon language,

What every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

-Hafiz

 

Illustration is my own, and is available at Society6 and Redbubble. Link in menu . Please do not use without permission.

 

 

 

Barely there

wvx

With That Moon Language

Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”

Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.

Still though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect. Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye that is always saying, with that sweet moon language, What every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

-Hafiz

Images  Anne Corr

Message from the heart

Untitl56

If our species could just try to hold this thought in the forefront of the mind, wouldn’t we be looking on at a different world?  We have such a marvellous potential from the start.

Be kind to one another.  Even when its tough. Love is the remarkable ineffable force that enables us to continue to hope .  When we love well,  the world changes.

Practice – its all it takes. Iris Murdoch once encapsulated the imperative of what love is-

‘Love is the difficult realization that something other than ourselves is real’

Which by extension involves examining our own reactions and behaviours and reflecting on whether we are loving enough. It’s that giant leap when you are in the middle of feeling justified in your own feelings, and suddenly you stop to think ‘How would I feel if someone said/did that to me? ‘

12th century French

In Great Regard

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We are all one, and paradoxically we all are individual.  Isn’t this life a constant wonder?  To understand our seperateness is to have a level of self awareness that can challenge and reward.  It challenges our sense of belonging and our feelings of being loved entirely, and rewards by its observation of each person’s individual choice to take their own decisions and be responsible for their own moral choices. I lloved Kahlil Gibran’s take on having children – that they are arrows from the parents bows – they go on to be fully developed , seperate beings.

My hardest times are when my loved ones do not seem to acknowledge me – they are disinterested in some way in my feelings.  That is the challenge of understanding our seperateness – their love is no less, but it is a fluid river on which I sail. It is not my boat. And sometimes it is a stormy ride. I look forward to those passages when the river is calm, and the view is tranquil.

Enjoy your week my friends. mr adn Mrss

A kelson of the creation is love,

Finding love is your life’s endeavour. Wherever it lies, in work, in relationships, in a cause, in religion.  Wherever you find it, nurture it. Mine has been in the ordinary – the making of a family.  I look to the stars, and I bow to those who create a greater mystery than I can ever dream of – those artists and dreamers who translate the experience of being human and bring to it a touch of the divine.  I hold no dogma of religion close, but admire the conscientiousness of those truly religious people who bring the lessons from prophets to life in order that we live lives of compassion. If God is anything to me, it is the spirit of life that exists and connects all living things, a shared common understanding of sorrow and joy, pain and pleasure.  I didn’t know what I had to say today, but when I heard Mozarts clarinet concerto, I began to write. Live well.

”I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn’d over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart,
And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my feet.

Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love,
And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap’d stones, elder, mullein and poke-weed.’

From Song of Myself  Walt Whitman

There have been moments like this for me, when I have felt the connection with every part of creation. How lovely that it is. How glorious that there are creative geniuses who take me there, and I am thinking of Mozart, and Radiohead in the same breath.  Let me know who your inspirations are, give me a chance of being blown away by something new and unexpected.  Here is Mozarts Clarinet Concerto slow movement, which sends me every time I hear it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxgmorK61YQ