Yesterday I took my recalcitrant legs for a walk up the lane, past the decaying house where the birch trees were banging against the window gaps. It was cold but bright but when I turned back to go home it was blisteringly cold and the wind whipped at my face and hands. This morning it seems as if winter has truly come – the frost was thick and as I walked, very carefully, over the patio and round the barn the frost was wheeling in the ridges of the lawn where the mower had cut through the growing grass. Ice on the bird baths, and in the long metal animal feeder that was full of water, was thick and immovable.
For the first time today, when I sat to write my journal, a poem came and slid under the pen and surprised me. I have pasted part of it onto the photograph of the lane in the frost. It is the first writing I have done since leaving hospital. There the writing of the blog from the Troisieme Etage was what kept me going – the ability to translate the detail into words, to leave behind the monotony of routine, to observe with a purpose and to forget myself for a while.
Coming home has, of course, been wonderful. It has been a new-coming – everything new and fresh, the silence and the long shadows of light, morning and evening, the moon and stars in the night that compensate for not sleeping, The company of friends and the careful faithfulness of Phil kept me going in the hospital and unit and continues to support me now at home. The cat has eventually forgiven me for going away – she had a long period of ignoring me and refusing to be friends which then turned into a refusal to get off my lap and a persistent attention seeking; but today she is sitting on the window ledge as the sun warms everything up, she may even be smiling.
I have been reading George Szirtes’ blog that he is writing after his quadruple heart bypass – it has such a resonance for me – the empty passages, the endless nights, the persistence of ups and downs and the way recovery keeps slipping away again for a while. Writing my blog and the responses that I had made such a difference and so I am going to post it in a side-bar of this blog – provided I can manage the technology. I have already lost this blog once as I tried to insert the picture/poem. This time I will save before trying anything fancy.
Here is the bit of poem that was elegantly pasted into the picture but I can’t get it to move together!
This morning, very morning,
frost has come. The high full moon
has licked the corner of the barn,
sharpens the field’s edge.
Trees charcoaled against the sky.
Cold penetrates the room. A single glazed window can’t keep it out.