“I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere
because where I am folded,
there I am a lie.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
“I want to unfold”
I have retreated to my garden. ‘Social distancing’ in a garden introduces a whole new social order, a separate society carrying on totally oblivious to the chaos and trauma being lived out by the human species.
This shy fellow and I have been playing hide and seek for the last few days. I would disturb his sunbathing and he would retreat into the log he calls home. Today I caught him sleeping and ‘folded.’
I feel my folded parts unfolding day by day. This moment in time has given us all much to consider. How we treat and care for our fellow human beings and the more-than-human-beings will determine how our shared future unfolds.
Holland House Library London September 1940 morning after an Air Raid
“Order in the midst of Disorder, Outside but also Inside”
This photograph, taken the day after an Air Raid on London in the Fall of 1940 has lived as an icon on my desktop for a few years.
I click on it intermittently to remind myself how resilient we are as human beings. Story-telling animals who in the midst of chaos and uncertainty keep moving forward. Reading, writing and telling our story as part of our survival.
Split screen, calm and chaos, our story being written day by day.
“Fashion is the armour to survive everyday life” . Bill Cunningham
Most evident as he rounded the corner was the fact that ‘Shit Happens’.
The message permanently tattooed into his upper arm, left no room for argument.
Glancing at the design of his outfit it initially appeared confused and disheveled, on closer inspection it became obvious that each piece was meticulously chosen and assembled.
The Fred Flintstone style capri belted in white plastic linked chain, topped with a studded and carefully pinned denim vest, accessorized with a green patched messenger bag and shades well positioned on the animal print cap. Street fashion captured on an urban concrete runway.
‘Shit’ will indeed ‘Happen’, best to be prepared and dress for the occasion.
“Time is an Ocean, present and eternal. We are adrift on that ocean of possibility, you and I , and the miracle is that we find each other at all. Maybe it’s age that keeps me scanning the horizon, looking for you, waving, bobbing in that sustaining current, because I want to hold eternal moments closer now. We move through time and space separately, and the mystery of our meeting is time’s gift to us. Swim with me now. We have no other chance.”
Richard Wagamese “Embers One Ojibway’s Meditations”
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin
We tend gardens in Spring under the illusion that we somehow affect the outcome, that our careful placement of seed or plant has anything to do with the eventual opening of the buds of May.
No credit given to the artist and unknown creator of the fragile petals that unfold, we proudly display our garden, rarely acknowledging that we are just the temporary curators of an impermanent living gallery.
“Everyday a new picture is painted and framed, held up for half an hour, in such lights as the Great Artist chooses, and then withdrawn, and the curtain falls. And then the sun goes down, and long the afterglow gives light.”
Henry David Thoreau
Every night they come, the watchers of the sun-set, drawn down by the need to see the light extinguish behind the islands and the sea.
I want to share with them as they slowly rise and disperse that the setting of the sun is only a prelude to the experience they had been called to witness, but I stay silent.
It is this time between the setting sun and rising moon, this short extension of the day, this in-between-time when my heart and mind settle for just a moment.
I watch as the sky paints itself with each night’s original palette, wanting only to share with those who can look out from the same place and feel the colours as they appear, understand the need for silence.
In these moments when I am neither here nor there, anything is possible, magic is afoot and I am caught in the afterglow of another original creation as it slowly fades from sight.
The darkness takes the light, the starlings swoop once more in perfect unison over the water, I share with all who stand watching… being neither here nor there, a silent good night.