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Friday, 5 January 2007

Small Spruce On Top Of Head

POETRY THURSDAY ... is a cyberspace event I like to contribute to if at all possible. Today on my walk along the beach, lying scattered along the low-tide line, there were pieces of smooth brick shaped like cakes of soap, and shards of china, ceramic and glass gathered and dragged there from southerly coastlines. It put me in mind of one of my favourite poets and poems; Amy Clampitt's 'Beach Glass'. ( I decided linking to that poem would be my contribution for this week.)

Of course I couldn't help myself. By nature I am a beachcomber and so I arrived home with several good specimens. The beach glass is my favourite.


I'm like one of my son's paintings, ( see above - I scanned a rough drawing of his that was lying on the desk here by the computer) I feel like I've got a tree growing out of my head. Thoughts and ideas are sprouting and growing outside my skull. Like a science fiction character, or maybe a character in a Scandinavian-folktale, whose name translates to 'Small Spruce On Top Of Head'.

Today I packed Christmas away in a box. Literally. All the decorations and ornaments went back into the 'Christmas Box' and back into the wardrobe in the spare room until next year.

And we waved good-bye to S this afternoon as he set off on a plane and the first leg of his journey back to Japan. I cried a little. As you do when someone close leaves to go to another country and you know you won't see them for another year, at least. Already the house seems to echo from the space left by his absence. I'm sure that just on his own, he'd have enough energy to run a small generator. A bit like the one I remember my uncle used for his milking shed. We are left now with M's peaceful calm. And his old dog who mostly sleeps all day long. That is good too - but it will be up to us now to create our own energy. Not to be so lazy. Or held back by trepidation. (If we need instructions, I guess we can always text or email S! )

My 8-year old granddaughter got a mobile phone for Christmas. Now I get texts from her when she's in bed and meant to be going to sleep.

It was a lovely sunny and (dare I say) even hot, day today. Again I followed the sun around the house and backyard and read and wrote in it. My writing consisted of writing out some goals for the year - among them writing goals. For example, picking up and completing the 'novel' or whatever it will turn out to be. And chasing up this next poetry collection of mine. When I wrote out all the things I wanted to do, I realised that because I'm going to be working 30 hours a week in about a week's time, I'm not going to have enough hours in the day. I felt mild panic rise in my chest like a fast-encroaching tide filling up a rock-pool. It is the panic of a writer without enough time left over after earning her keep. I've counted up how many days of holiday I've got left (10) and promptly went into another panic attack.

But I managed to regain control ... I took deep breaths and picked up the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami's collection of short stories, 'Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.' This book has glints of genius. But on the whole, so far I find the stories strange and removed. I guess the writer would say - Yes. Hello-o. That's the point. One of the stories I read today, called 'A Perfect Day For Kangaroos', is the story I have enjoyed most. Here is an example of the subtlety and quirkiness I liked in that story '... the mother kangaroo and her baby had become one unit, resting in the flow of time, while the mysterious other female was hopping around the enclosure as if taking her tail out on a test run.'

In one of those elusive, twining strands of coincidence, the book I was going to report on today, 'Luca Antara' by Martin Edmond - the book I've just finished reading and enjoyed so much - mentioned Haruki Murakami. Unfortunately I haven't left myself enough time after a very busy day, to explain some of the reasons why I liked the book. And tomorrow we head back to Queenstown again to see the folks for a few days. So there will probably be no time then either. I sense a theme here. However, I will continue to process my thoughts - as another twig sprouts from the top of my skull.


Deb R said...

That's a beautiful poem! Thanks for linking to it. And I like your son's drawing. :-)

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks for the link to the poem. Your son's drawing reminds me of Haruki Murakami stories I have read. Sorry you've not thouroughly enjoyed the ones you've read. I haven't read that collection but The Elephant Disappears is my favourite collection of short stories and his novels The Wind Up Bird Chronicles and (especially) Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World are wonderful - two of my favourite ever novels.

gel said...

Hi ChiefB,
Oooh, how wonderful that you live so near the beach! That is a dream of mine. I enjoyed the poem as I imagined looking for beach glass and shells like the beautiful photo you have in your side bar.

I'm here via Poetry Thursday.

Enjoyed your son's drawing, too. Reminds me of the art my daughter's did when young. We're an "artsy" family. I'll be looking into the books you recommended.
Take care :)

Poet with a Day Job said...

I am in love with "small spruce on top of head"

kj said...

hello chief, i can feel the ying and yang of saying goodbye to your son while knowing your life is good. enjoy yourself and best wishes in the new year.

ps i love the ocean--had it directly in my life for two years. i miss the smell of it and the wind on my face...

Remiman said...

Hi CB,
Reading the poem I thought I was listening to you. She takes everyday moments and rhythmically weaves a story than you're helpless to ignore. I find reading your revealing of a day's happenings, complete with feelings felt, is just as compelling. I often feel like I'm sitting across the kitchen table from you and entralled be your tales.
Maudlin, but true.

Remiman said...

Sometimes I can spell correctly too.
Than= that
entralled be= enthralled by.

Catherine said...

Your son's drawing reminded me of a Japanese folk tale about a man who swallowed a cherry stone. As I recall, a cherry tree grew out of his head. Then it blew over in a big wind, and the rain filled the hole and made a lake. One day the man tripped and somersaulted into the lake on his head and disappeared :)
I beachcomb too - an empty crab shell came home with me from my walk around the estuary.

Dana said...

I love, love, love that drawing.

Belle said...

Good evening Chief,

Funny, I packed up Christmas today also. I have collected beach glass for years, isn't it just the most fun walking the shoreline looking for it?

chiefbiscuit said...

deb r - Thanks - I am on hoiday again and far away from my son and his art right now, so it's nice to still feel close -a s I do to other bloggers far far away - the joy & blessing of the internet. Have a great day.

cgp - I'm willing to keep trying with HM. It's a matter of getting my head around his particular style which is a style I usually avoid. I'm enjoyinh the challenge and I'm sure I'm getting ideas and inspiration from his subtle, enigmatic approach.

gel - Welcome to my place. Thanks for your kind comments.

pwadj - Thanks for dropping by and for the compliment - it makes me tingle!

kj - Hope you can get back to the ocean again sometime soon. It's truly like a tonic to have your back to the hills and your face towards the wide open sea. :)

remiman - Keep talking!!!!! :)

catherine - as always you come up with a fabulous reference - I'd LOVE to read that story (so I'm sure would M the artist) - I'll try and find it.

dana - I know. Isn't it just something? And it's only a rough sketch - a doodle if you will - you should see his paintings, you'd adore those too, I just know.

belle - Yes I know you collect beach glass ;) I am lucky enough to own a piece of your jewellery with beach glass incorporated and I just LOVE it too. I am going to do a feature on your jewellery sometime soon - the idea to do so keeps burbling away in the back of my head - or maybe I should say it's sprouting out the top of my head!

paris parfait said...

Beach Glass is a beautiful poem and collecting it is such fun! I'm sorry about saying goodbye to S - I know how difficult it is, as I recently said goodbye to my daughter, whom I won't see at least until June, possibly beyond. I like the idea of the twig sprouting from the top of the skull. And don't stress too much about being overwhelmed - too many things to do and not enough time. It will all sort itself out, day by day. Very thought-invoking post.

chiefbiscuit said...

pp - Thanks so much for that - I have drunk in every word!


'how this all harbours light'