from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Thursday, 24 March 2011

green things, merrivale again, & calling everywhere home

Skirmishes around the birdfeeders: the usually-timid dunnocks are fluffed-up and flapping with territory and testosterone, in mating-and-no-nonsense mood. Beak-wrestling between a normally peace-loving bluetit and a thuggish balaclavaed great tit across the peanuts; the bluetit of course gives in, then (again unusually for these gregarious and friendly little birds) sees off a willow warbler. The magpies and a squirrel jostle for the seed feeder; I yell at both. Have already replaced 3 seed feeders this year due to the depredations of both; finally managed to track down a metal one. Squirrel hasn't given up but whips its tail and disappears into the brassica with an exaggerated flourish when I appear, and sits and simmers, watching me.
Green soup: watercress, wild garlic, a couple of our leeks from the garden and a handful of green lentils. That and home-made bread, outside in thin sun and a tricksy easterly wind.
And talking of green things: I'm not sure how it happened, exactly, but The Man and I are both standing for the Greens at the local (rural) district council elections. This was on the assurance initially that we would simply be a name for people of a green persuasion to put a cross by on the ballot, with little chance of being elected, and no work or canvassing involved. (My position, because of the ward I'm standing for, is a little less clear, and I stand a slim chance of being elected.) Although we're both committed to Things Green, we're neither of us Party people, really, and local or party politics have not engaged us so much as current affairs and wider political issues (although I'm also well aware of the importance of 'acting locally').
   My father, Celtic anarchist that he is (Celts – sweeping generalisation – rate the clan, pull together when necessary, but on the whole prefer to walk their own path), was a little disgusted, in a polite sort of way (that's new!), when I mentioned it. He thinks of local councillors as do-gooders and busy-bodies, and hadn't seen me as a Pillar of the Local Community (neither had I). 'I count on you to carry on being an iconoclast, girl', he said once, not long ago. But there it is. And I suppose in politics the Green position is almost iconoclastic. And more importantly I guess it's about walking one's talk in the wider world as well as at home.
   What The Man doesn't yet know, but I do since this morning, is that we each need to collect ten nominees in the area for which we're standing. Luckily for me, since I'm still not well and am due away in a few days, our Green parliamentary candidate is going to collect mine. The Man, who is both private and introverted, will not take kindly to knocking on doors. But maybe the attractive and persuasive L will convince him; he respects her. Glad she's telling him, though, not me.
My Ground of Being workshop at Merrivale last Sunday is still humming in my bloodstream. As an excuse to not do what I ought to be doing (preparing the retreat programme for when I go away), I'm going to type in some little atoms of poems from the day (I don't normally manage to write much myself when facilitating a workshop).

atoms of song spell skylark
inside me a note starts to rise
high enough to join it

when your song stops, lark
the note will keep coming
out of my pen
                        (after Basho)

these stone sentences remind me
where I've come from
give me an alphabet
to shape time

the texture of things –
inside and outside

not a day to be tamed –
away on the hill a dog
speaks for all wolves

sun on my back
feet on the good earth –
calling everywhere home

Roselle Angwin

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