Monday, March 7, 2011

A poetic life

I was re-reading some posts from last year. I feel I was more poetic then. The concerns different, the place I lived in smaller, restrained in many ways. The mind though was never contained.  There was always the freedom to think and yet space or lack of it has a way of impacting upon the psyche. I am freer to move around here, surrounded by a lovely garden, unrestrained by the movement and sound of others. The Magpies warble at daybreak and there's utter quiet in the night, which I almost never had in my other place unless I  woke at 4 am in the morning.  And all of that - the tiny rooms, the unbearable heat in Summer and utter cold in Winter tolerated, just tolerated, but sometimes not, and I'd cry, though no one ever heard. There's always a fear when you experience something better that it will be lost and you will have to return to another less comfortable time. I was thinking this morning how interesting it would be to be able to return to the past, as an adult, with present knowledge, experience and understanding and have a conversation with people you knew when you were a child. I'd love to know how my grandmother felt; to be able to understand her  life through the eyes of an adult rather than through the fearful eyes of a frightened child. But there are others too. Why do we always have clarity after the fact? Perhaps it is time, the great healer. Thoughts about positivity also pervade my mind this morning, but I must admit it's easy to be positive when things are going well and much harder when life is falling apart. I admire those who can be positive in the face of adversity. It's International Women's Day tomorrow and it's doubly significant because it's 100 years since its inception. I'll be meeting with two female friends, if all goes well and that will be my way of celebrating this significant occasion. Finding the poetic, the emotional, imaginative experience in life has always been important for me. I remember well sitting on a chair in front of a small table and clunky black typewriter on a landing above a staircase in a children's home in the early 1960s. I sat for several hours, day after day in this upright position, fingers on the keyboard, white paper neatly fitted, a hand lever on the right hand side and on each return a slide and ping sound as the carriage returned. In the end I wrote a 16 page poem, whisked away by an interested staff member who took it to her poetry group. Nothing remains of it only the memory of making and although I may never write as well as those who have transported me with their words I'm happy in the knowledge that it's experience as well as language that is transmitted through our being.

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