Monday, March 15, 2004

No Worst, There Is None

No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief -
Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing -

Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked "No ling-
Ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief."

O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne'er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.

In the light of the situation in Madrid, I thought that only some of Gerard Manley Hopkins heightened, tremulous poetry could sum up this dark time for Europe.

It is indeed a dark time, and I have learnt to cherish the things that I and my loved ones have: each other, our freedom, our safety. This was going to be a rather frivolous post about my recent jaunts about town but I can't go into that right now - it seems almost inappropriate for this pensive mood I am in. Why this mood when I've had such a great time over the last few weeks? Precisely because I have had a good few weeks: I've become aware in a frighteningly stark and brutal way, that this is not to be taken for granted and the life I have is more fragile and in danger than I have ever assumed.

Work has calmed down recently and I'm keeping much pleasanter hours and I don't feel so harrassed all the time. I've been enjoying myself visiting friends and cooking and going to parties and hanging around my lovely flat, watching TV under a blanket while it rains on the glass roof of the kitchen, feeling warm and safe and loved. And it's so fragile, I can see that now. I am so fortunate to live the life that I do, with the people I love and doing the things that I want... it's not to be taken for granted and certainly not to be abused. I have my health, I have a job, I have friends and family, I have hobbies and interests and all the resources and freedom to pursue them. It's time to take stock of what I've got - what we have got and be fucking grateful we've got it so good. Willl it always be like this?

I'm going off to have a good think about things and maybe read some more Manley Hopkins. And then I'll have all this maudlin but meaningful stuff off my (blogging-)chest and then I can get back to bragging about the amazing Thai curry I made last night and my recent efforts to geton the BBC World Service.

In the meantime, have a hug disguised as some curly brackets. {{ }} It's not much but thanks for reading and come back soon.

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