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

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

a notion

The line between sea, shore and sky is so thin, so silver; how it pulls me. I could almost walk on it and on through and on through and not know myself. 

The elements are not so very different: sky become earth become sea become sky and back again. Here they're barely a notion, a token that happens and I watch and by my watching also participate.

And here in bluebells and campion is the rock where I watched the cuckoo so many years ago, before all the losing started; gorse, bluebells, cuckoo, self, even rock – the same and not the same. The cycles of love and loss and love again amplified by spring – how, in spring, can we not believe? – and I think how my mum used to say this was the hardest season: perhaps it's how we feel we don't measure up to all this growth and exuberance, stuck as we are in our regrets and our hopes, the past and the future, resisting growth and bloom if it means changing, giving up on what we know. How we atrophy and harden by not letting go, by not rolling with how it all is.

I've been watching that gull nesting in her trance tucked up against the chimney stack facing out to water, to the horizon, unmoving save to turn the eggs and turn herself on occasion; how hard it is to be that inward, that still, that unresisting to wind and weather. That's faith. That's belief in the future while doing what needs doing in the now.


  1. Miriam:
    A beautiful, melancholy notion, Roselle. I find spring almost unbearably lovely – that sweet pain associated with poignance, the regret being in its inevitable passing as it grows into overblown summer. So yes, I can relate to what your mother felt about spring being the hardest season, though maybe for slightly different reasons. It's also an exhausting time, isn't it? All that relentless, yet irresistible light; birds nesting and us worrying for their safety. I feel sad when the summer solstice arrives and hate the month of August! Yet loss implies its opposite: gain. As you say . . .' letting go . . . rolling with how it is.' My wise Dad would say – 'well that's just the way it is – with a stoical shrug.

  2. I wonder if the gull looks out there and sees a line between the sky and the sea, or just sees the subtle gradations of colour. I thought of a piece on the radio this morning - cockroaches have evolved so that they are no longer affected by poison that is put down for them in the form of glucose which they love. They have evolved so that they no longer respond to glucose and have actually been seen spitting out the stuff. It seems that when we humans evolve we do it by changing the things around us but when nature evolves it changes itself so it can continue. Or, of course, in so many instances it can't continue because it can't survive the changes we've made.
    Sorry - a bit garbled this morning :-)

  3. Miriam, Angie - thank you both. I managed to post your comments and then my internet died! Angie - v interesting info on cockroaches: I had no idea!

    And btw two gull chicks have hatched.


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