The Peace of Wild Things Or, How I am Feeling Today

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When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry

Ode to the Horse

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Most of the news at the moment is, I will venture to say, more disturbing that it has been in a long, long time. No, it’s not because of the internet making us all more aware than we were in years previous – it actually IS worse and it’s full-on terrible. I’m almost afraid to keep up – something I don’t even have to worry about actually since The General and his new Mac maintain an informal news-anchor presence at the kitchen table, constantly updating with bulletins from around the world, a trait which I am not used to but have grown to appreciate; however, I still have to walk that fine line between being a responsible adult who knows what’s happening and tries to do The Right Thing and reconciling that with the thin-skinned, highly strung artist-type who lies in bed at 3 am trying to untangle the finer points of European foreign policy after weeping openly at all those abused animal videos I should never have clicked on, hours before.

But I digress. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Bodhisattvas!

 

 

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Last night we celebrated a double birthday dinner for my Best Friend in the World and my eldest, Frasier’s 24 years, a fact that fills me with such strong emotion that I am unsure how to carry it or how to process.

It’s such a cliché to hear so many mums lamenting throughout the years about how fast time goes and since this is one of the worst things that one can say to a new mother strung out on no sleep I can proudly say, that I have never said it myself – honestly – but the fact is? It’s the icy, shocking, can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-ME truth. One minute I was running down the street with a forgotten lunch bag or volunteering on a school bus trip, breathing in the heady smell of little-kids’-feet and strawberry Chapstick for two hours and now here I am surrounded by colleagues and a Significant Other who are all quoting gloomy economic forecasts, consulting charts and obsessing about retirement. How did I allow this passing of time to happen without holding on to key moments more tightly than I did? When am I ever going to be pretty now? Why do my ankles suddenly swell for no good reason, lending that camel-feet look to every outfit? Will I soon begin cultivating an interest in supportive underwear? When exactly is my writing career going to take off in earnest– and how long can I keep kidding myself that this is even a thing? I mean how pretentious to even try, my inner voices accuse darkly, pointing out the futility of this very blog, as a feeble exercise in self-absorption. Oh and why is it only about shaved or regular slice at the deli counter now, when it used to be about looking up from under my lashes at the swarthy and romance-cover-worthy butcher?

Now the butcher seems to be only eleven and wants me to hurry up, already, between the stone-roast ham or the Black Forest. Continue reading

Not Just Another Mouth in the Lipstick Vogue

 

 

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Honestly, there’s nothing like a trip to Sephora to raise the spirits after both an appalling week at work and all those sinking moments of time spent watching the current world news. (For which I can find no satisfactory method of dealing with apart from healthy, regular shots of denial). Historical justifications, finger pointing and frantic hopping trips to news sites across the web have all proved hugely unhelpful to me. People who offer compact, intellectual summary statements are exceptionally irritating because, really, nothing is that simple, is it? The best advice I have heard thus far – apart from going on a total news fast – seems to be making a relentless effort to be absolutely the best person you can be, in your own day-to-day life. It’s the only strategy that makes sense – apart from letter writing and lobbying obviously – and really, it’s sort of a mash-up of that grassroots notion of “Think Globally, Act Locally” which I also love.

But I digress. Because perhaps I could do a much better job if I had a really top-notch lipstick. Continue reading