Tag: grief

thing 49 and a quarter: ‘for the poet, what behaviour is meet?’: shades of blue

A tree falling in a forest. A book launched during a pandemic. Does either of them make any sound?

As far as I can tell, if answer there be to this question, it’s “yes and no”. There is the basic excitation of the surrounding medium/particles which, if there are receptors, would be translated into sound. But in the absence of receptors, there is no such translation. Ergo, yes and no. Aaargh. I remember now how much philosophy has always really pissed me off. I just don’t have the right kind of brain or temperament for it. As Frank or Pat Butcher might (more…)

thing 47: ‘immensity taps at your life’: Shap Abbey and Keld Chapel

Bewildered, amongst bewildered sheep, I was blundering around a mud-skiddy fell in the steady, slanting, seeping rain. My legs, however, were having a whole different experience—of sea breeze and wide sky and blue air; of sand sliding away beneath my feet. It was a powerful muscle memory of walking in dunes on Balmedie beach when I was little: how tiring it is; how your feet slip away from you, slowly and sometimes swiftly, at unexpected angles; how hard it is to gain any ground. I felt 52 and 8 at the same time. Very odd.

This grey Sunday afternoon I’d finally managed to lever myself off the sofa, having decided on a small adventure: visiting the Chapel at Keld. Someone had (more…)

thing 43: ‘yourself/my own dog’: the Song of the Silent Child

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.

“In a time then and now/In a place far and near/In a world of which old stories tell/A land cradled in light―/Sun by day, moon by night―/Is held safe under summer’s sweet spell”. This is Summerland, where The Song of the Silent Child is set. The eponymous Silent Child is despised in this land of perpetual happiness, and it isn’t until she meets Old Mother Love, the Crone/wise woman who is dying, that the Child learns who she is: “’You go by (more…)

thing 40: ‘what will survive of us is love’: St Hilda’s way, part (iv)

This would be a fine place to spend eternity.

From the lichened drystone wall where I sat the land rolled away to the horizon, a series of gradual grassy undulations punctuated with clumps of shrubs and trees. In the distance the peat browns and heather purples of the moor spread their muted patchwork; within the tiny churchyard itself, oaks, ashes and other trees were stretching (more…)