Monday, 29 June 2009

Kindness and Lace

Kindness is what oils this planet's squeaky wheels. Or something to that effect. It makes you feel better about life and yourself anyway. Kind people are to be treasured. And I do. People like Tim Jones, for example, who has been kind enough to give my blog a nod. I thought I better quickly put up a new post. I have been resting on my laurels a bit as far as blogging goes.
I celebrated my birthday on Thursday (yes, the same date that Michael Jackson died, although for us, it was the Friday he died rather than on my birthday.)
Not much fun having to work on my birthday, but I did get the next day off - which happened to be a Friday, and then Monday (today) off as well, which has more than made up for it.
So on the Friday I went shopping. Something I rarely do. I am not a fan. But I had great expectations of doing lots of looking around and maybe being tempted to buy some clothes, or trinkets and such. But by the time I got down town, into a car parking building and set off, I found I was no longer in the mood for that kind of shopping. I started to feel bored just looking at the outsides of the malls. It was time to have a coffee (and write a poem* while sitting there- which I did) and then head for a bookshop (with birthday tokens.) I did have a lovely time choosing my purchases. I even caught up with Sue who has worked at Whitcoulls since the beginning of the 80s (when I worked there!) back when we sold the Farrah Fawcwett-Majors (as she was then) poster. Sue is the long-term, friendly face of Whitcoulls. Continuity is not to be sniffed at, and I was cheered to find some of it on Friday.
Then as I had some time to kill before meeting a friend for a coffee, I ended up at the library (think: comfort zone) where I got out some more books. Poetry books. Catching up on a huge backlog of some-time-I-must-reads. All NZ poetry, my favourite poetry it has to be said. One of the books was Tim's book, 'All Blacks' Kitchen Gardens', which I am enjoying, especially for its Southern references - but not solely, as it is a fine read for many other reasons. I loved the poem about the kea in the Gore Botanical Gardens, 'Tethered Flight' and am presently working on a response to it. I am grateful when a poem stirs and inspires me enough to write something because of it. It's how poetry should work - ripples and reverberations. And I also adore the poem, 'Two Creek Beach' - Tim will know why. It has to do with stamping grounds.
I got some lovely birthday presents, but probably the most surprising gift of all was from my d-i-l's mother, Nuiko, who I met when they came out to NZ from Japan in January, for the wedding. She sent me a beautiful lace cloth she'd made herself ...

(See my initials? Isn't that so sweet?)

I feel like a lucky woman. Even if tomorrow it's back to work starting at 7.15 a.m. and a staff meeting tomorrow night as well as a tax return to do ... Yep, it's back to the mundane. (But at least I have my memories of the bliss of these last four days.)

*walking through the Octagon

How can one not love
this drizzle?
Burns' dark glower
as I rush by
under splattered cover.
Ah, there. See. That girl
in the fake-fur,
tiger-skin hat
smiling to herself
does too.

Kay McKenzie Cooke


Unknown said...

That poem is like a wee secret tucked in at the end. I like it and the handmade lace and the musings about shopping - I agree. It's hard to get excited about tat! Much better with books :)

Avus said...

A very pleasant, leisurely way to spend "post-birthday", Kay -- and ain't that lace just perfect?

dinzie said...

Awesom lacework .. She must be nearly blind doing that !! :O0


Becky Willis Motew said...

I like the girl smiling to herself. And I like kind people too. You are one.
Happy Birthday, Kay!!


Anne S said...

Happy belated birthday. And what a lovely lace cloth. Lucky you! My lovely sister in law made me a patch work quilt for my birthday once. I treasure it.

Tim Jones said...

Thank you very much, Kay, for the kind words - and the poem, which feels (to me, at least) like a response to my poem "Brighter" in All Blacks' Kitchen Gardens. (Or am I imagining this?)

Clare Dudman said...

Great little poem, Kay! Happy and wistful at the same time. Beautiful lace - I much prefer that matt sort. Your DIL's mother must have much patience.

Kay Cooke said...

Barbara - Thanks. Books are much more interesting aren't they? Than a lot of things. I can never even harbour for a second the thought that they will be obsolete in the future ...

Avus - I agree. Love your new post btw - now THAT is the way to see England. You should write tourist brochures.

dinzie - No she doesn't even wear glasses!

Becky - Awww, that's so nice my friend. Thank you for the b'day greetings.

Anne S - I will treasure this too. I am a little overwhelmed buy the kindness and generosity to be frank. But we have found our new Japanese relatives to be so.

Tim - Ah! Well spotted - it is a response, indeed it is. The words 'freezing drizzle' was the spark - if drizzle can indeed spark!

Clare - Thank you! I love it when something lovely happens like that passing smile in the tiger-skin hat! And even better if you are able to capture it. It's like a gift.

Katherine Dolan said...

A vintage Kay post! I see you have your writing hand in at the moment -- that's the perfect description of a chance smile in the Octagon. I had a moment like that in Vancouver this drizzle but cloudless blue sky. The birthday lace is so sweet.

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rel said...

Bookstores are the only good reason to go shopping.
wishing you a belated Happy birthday.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Glad your b'day was good! I enjoyed your posting again. (Fb seems to have taken away a LOT of blog time from everybody).

The lace table cloth is lovely, as is the poem. My kids left today for Japan. My D-I-L's mother has made no overtures whatsoever to us. She's afraid to fly and won't visit here. Lee says it's because she doesn't speak English, but I would like to meet her. You've been lucky. Maybe someday I'll get to Japan....

kj said...

kay, i love the poem. it is perfectly crafted, every word purposeful. and i could so easily relate to how you spent your day.
we are lost and found at the same time.

love to you, chief,

kj said...

oh, and the lace. wow.

apprentice said...

A belated "many happy returns". I agre about shopping, I thought the menopause might at least get me into shop lifting :)

The lace is beautiful. I'm a big fan of lace, tapestry and embroidery, they are all such painstaking work and labours of love and yet never valued in the moneied part of the economy.

The poem is a we gem too.

Jan said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean about both kindness AND shopping!
Good to read your superb blog.

Kay Cooke said...

Katipo - Thanks for that - nice to know there's a little synchronicity going on there btwn Duuniz and (Vanniz???)

Rel - I have to agree.

Joyce - I'm sure one day you will get to Japan. And yes, I do count my blessings and feel very lucky indeed.

kj - Thanks for that. Think of it as a little custom-made number!

Anna - Yes it's a dying art and I feel very honoured to have hsd a gift made for me like that one.

Jan - Lovely to have you visit. :)

Clocking Out

 I have been neglecting this blog for some months. I think perhaps I should face facts and accept that it is indeed time to retire this blog...