The whole pile is slipping


This morning I woke very early and drafted some poems sitting on the sofa while the rain pattered on the deck and a solitary bird chirrupped in the pre-dawn.  In spite of the cloud cover, there was a silvery moonlight and the now bare sweet chestnut trees were visible against the grey sky.  I’ve been in this house two years and I’ve yet to get curtains for the living room at the back – which means I often enjoy the arrival of morning light.  It was a blissful couple of hours and that’s not hyperbole.

It set me thinking about the saying that you should ‘sit’ (ie meditate) for at least an hour a day – unless you are too busy, in which case, you should sit for two.

And the poem that came to mind is yet another one by Robert Frost.  Here is a link to The Armful.  Please do click through and read it.  It is exactly how my life has been this past few weeks.

I love my work and as a freelancer, spend time inventing and pitching projects I want to work on. It’s creative but sometimes admin-heavy.  That some ideas will come to fruition and others not, is a given. A bit like gardening. This year though, the harvest has been plentiful and several things planted years ago have borne fruit.  Perhaps there’s a need now to thin, coppice or cull – or at least stop planting for a while.

Robert Frost’s metaphor though is different.  The speaker of the poem has nothing he or she ‘should care to leave behind’. Each and every parcel is welcome, which is happily true for me at the moment with my busy-ness. (On a literal level I think it also applies to Christmas presents – some of the strangest and least appropriate ones say something about particular relationships). The end of the poem, as with all ‘good’ poems for poetry therapy, is richly ambiguous.  Does the speaker manage to ‘stack them in a better load’ or does he or she try and fail?

My parcels got the better of me this week and I now regret cancelling a visit by a friend and not going to an evening do – parcels of pleasure and fun – I could have put the more dutiful ones down for a bit.

This morning’s interlude reminded me of what matters. Yes, I enjoy writing poems, yes, I like writing my blog, yes, I do want to see my friends and colleagues.  I will hold on to them with ‘hand and mind / And heart’.  All I need to do is stack them in a better load.