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

Monday, 13 August 2012


Here is long valleys of summer wildflower meadows edged with mature woodland. Here is a haven for butterflies and bees who need the unmown meadows. Here is the laughing green woodpecker, the shrieking jay.

Here is the murmur, wherever I am, of the brook and the little waterfall over the lip from the lilypond. Here are damselflies and grasshoppers, dragonflies and goldcrests. Here the buzzard's cry reverberates round the valley. Here are simple rustic benches and chairs placed exactly where you'd want one. Here are huge gunnera and the delicate flowers of evening primrose and chicory.

Here is a space of maybe a hundred or two hundred acres of woodland to wander in without meeting a human. Here is the old engine house and copper-mineshaft, way up in the woods, and higher still the ruined cottage. And higher on the other side of the stream, up on the lane that leads to the moor, is the iron age fort and the constant distant rushing of the Dart.

Here in one room, in the converted hayloft, is all I need or could need; and right at my door is the orchard; and a small table and pair of chairs, in sun, by the woodpile, where someone has inserted a log with those end-on lengths of bamboo for ladybirds to over-winter in.

Here is the bliss of a week's retreat to sleep, and write, and read, and walk, and meditate, and to lounge in the weathered wooden chair at the edge of the big pond/small lake, and watch the moorhen paddle in the lily-leaves, and the damselflies' cerulean blue glow light up the surface of the water; to watch the lazy fish rise and fall back; to think, to dream and to not-think, in silence, just me and the world...

This bel far niente.

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