Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Few Words on Time. -Time Passing

Time Standing Still

Time to Go - Time to Stay

Wasting Time - Coveting Time

Making Time - Remembering Time

which brings to mind.......

TIME, you old gypsy man,

Will you not stay,

Put up your caravan

Just for one day?

All things I'll give you

Will you be my guest,

Bells for your jennet

Of silver the best,

Goldsmiths shall beat you

A great golden ring,

Peacocks shall bow to you,

Little boys sing.

Oh, and sweet girls will

Festoon you with may,

Time, you old gipsy,

Why hasten away?

Last week in Babylon,

Last night in Rome,

Morning, and in the crush

Under Paul's dome;

Under Pauls' dial

You tighten your rein --

Only a moment,

And off once again;

Off to some city

Now blind in the womb,

Off to another

Ere that's in the tomb.

Time, you old gypsy man,

Will you not stay,

Put up your caravan

Just for one day?

I had always associated this poem with Bliss Carmen, so imagine my surprise when I discovered it was written by Ralph Hodgson, who also wrote that lovely, poignant poem "Eve"

EVE, with her basket, was
Deep in the bells and grass,
Wading in bells and grass
Up to her knees,
Picking a dish of sweet
Berries and plums to eat,
Down in the bell and grass
Under the trees.
etc. etc. (look it up!)

And the equally haunting "After"

"HOW fared you when you mortal were?

What did you see on my peopled star?"

"Oh well enough," I answered her,

"It went for me where mortals are!

"I saw blue flowers and the merlin's flight

And the rime on the wintry tree,

Blue doves I saw and summer light

On the wings of the cinnamon bee."

It seems to me that TIME must surely be much on the minds of those who are, well, growing older. I was going to say "mature" but I think you have to be past mature and into the "past shelf date" era before you begin to think seriously about time, and the things that are still left to fill it.

There are the exciting things, which may or may not take place. And there are the things of immediate concern, like organizing the family pictures, going to see the lawyer, little instructions to leave behind, pasting labels on the things one wants to pass on to individual loved ones, being kind to children and setting out wishes in no uncertain terms so that when one says do it like this, and another says, do it like that, mother will have got her bid in first to avoid all disagreement......oh, and when all that gets too morbid, feeling satisfied that it is done and one can relax and enjoy Time Left!!!

How our commitments change as time passes, - once I was committed to nurturing - now I am committed to making each precious moment, day, month, year count in the most splendid and comfortable way possible.

And often in my mind do I contemplate the connection between body and spirit, and between spirit and this lovely earth.....

So why did I attribute the Gypsy Man to Bliss Carman? Perhaps I got him mixed up with the Vagabonds, which Bliss Carman DID write.

We are the vagabonds of time,
And rove the yellow autumn days,
When all the roads are gray with rime

And all the valleys blue with haze.
We came unlooked for as the wind

Trooping across the April hills,

When the brown waking earth had dreams

Of summer in the Wander Kills.

How far afield we joyed to fare,

With June in every blade and tree!

Now with the sea-wind in our
We turn our faces to the sea.

etc. etc. - another poem to look up!

And speaking of Time - I have only until Sunday Evening to read the Deathly Hallows before I must return it to the Granddaughter who kindly loaned it to me. I'm off, for

quite evidently, Time is of the essence......!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Neighbours

just moved in, over the fence, towards Cawston.

They are proving to be quiet and well behaved (no Neighing or Whinnying at inappropriate times.) horsey people! They come and go with equinimity, occasionally stepping out for a refreshing drink in this hot weather. (No local Bar in the pasture, as yet.)

True to tradition, I have been observing from behind the curtain, - noting the pecking order. They wander the lush pasture and keep their noses to the ground, intent upon their own business with just the occasional glance at the garden that lies over the fence.

It is nice to have horses close by. On the property where the Lost Garden lived for many years we rented out pasture to a local rancher, and their horses lent a romantic and pastoral beauty as they grazed in the shade of the trees Husband planted there. Alas, all gone......

I am sure these particular horses are glad to be back in the pasture we usurped when we built our home up here in the corner, and even, to add insult to injury, used their shelter as a temporary garage.

However, they seem forgiving and friendly, and I would be glad to lend them a cup of sugar cubes any time they need it!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Reading Rose Macaulay

A few years ago my sister-in-law sent me a copy of Dame Rose Macaulay's book, Personal Pleasures. I was delighted with it, and it inspired a search for more of her books.

Not an easy task, - the Okanagan Regional Library carries only the Towers of Trebizond. I immediately ordered it and read it with great satisfaction.

Having nothing new to read the other night I reintroduced myself to Rose Macaulay, where her Personal Pleasures was tucked into the shelf on the nightstand, along side other books that it gives me great pleasure to re-read.

"Chattery, chittery..lean as a rake. wispy; and frittered" was Virginia Woolf's comment about Rose, but I have read elsewhere that Virginia's comment was perhaps tinged with jealousy and cattiness.

In any event, Rose Macaulay was very much a part of the London literary circle in the first part of the last century and although her first books were inclined to be light, comic pieces, her later work had a haunting quality, - most especially her post-war novel "The World my Wilderness" which I am longing to read.

One of the excerpts from Towers of Trebizond reflects my own thinking as I ponder the real, honest to goodness meaning of TRUTH.

"Nothing in the world, for instance, could be as true as some Anglicans and Calvinists and Moslems think their Churches are, having the faith once for all delivered to the saints. I suppose this must be comfortable and reassuring. But most of us know that nothing is as true as all that, and that no faith can be delivered once for all without change, for new things are being discovered all the time, and old things dropped, like the whole Bible being true, and we have to grope our way through a mist that keeps being lit by shafts of light, so that exploration tends to be patchy, and we can never sit back and say, we have the Truth, this is it, for discovering the truth, if it is ever discovered, means a long journey through a difficult jungle, with clearings every now and then, and paths that have to be hacked out as one walks, and dark lanterns swinging from the trees, and these lanterns are the light that has lighted every man, which can only come through the dark lanterns of our minds."

That appeals to me.

As does her quotation "At the worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived."

She had a lovely and imaginative way with words.

A random quotation from a small essay on the Pleasures of Bathing:

"The sea's warm edge sways lisping on hot sand, curling
into tiny ripples, hissing, creaming, running delicately back. Wade in, take five steps in water as warm as a tepid bath, and the sharply shelving beach fails beneath your feet and leaves you swimming. Lapping in the clear, thin stuff, so blue, so buoyant, so serene, you can conceive no reason for ever leaving it."

I am off now to read to Husband (who has difficulty becoming somnalent) her delightful pages on the pleasures of Bed.