I should like to live in a sunny town like this Where every afternoon is half-day closing And I would wait at the terminal for the one train Of the day, pacing the platform, and no one arriving.
At the far end of the platform is a tunnel, and the train Slows out of it like a tear from a single eye. You couldn’t get further than this, the doors all opened And the porter with rolled sleeves wielding a mop.
Even if one restless traveller were to arrive With leather grip, racquets under the arm, A belted raincoat folded over the shoulder, A fishing hat, and a pipe stuck in his mouth,
There would be nowhere for him to move on to And he would settle down to tea in the lounge Of the Goat Hotel, doing yesterday’s crossword, And would emerge later, after a nap, for a drink.
You meet them in the bar, glassy-eyed, all the time. They never quite unpack, and expect letters From one particular friend who doesn’t write. If you buy them a drink they will tell you their life history:
‘I should have liked to live in a sunny town like this, Strolling down to the harbour in the early evening, Looking at the catch. Nothing happens here. You could forget the ill-luck dogging you.
‘I could join the Fancy Rat Society and train Sweet peas over the trellised porch Of my little slice of stuccoed terrace. I could Be in time for the morning service at Tesco’s.
‘I expect death’s like this, letters never arriving And the last remembered failure at once abandoned And insistent, like a card on a mantelpiece. What might it be? You can take your choice.
‘ “I shook her by the shoulders in a rage of frustration.” “I smiled, and left the room without saying a word.” “I was afraid to touch her, and never explained.” “I touched her once, and that was my greatest mistake.” ’
You meet them before dinner. You meet them after dinner, The unbelieved, the uncaressed, the terrified. Their conversation is perfectly decent but usually It slows to a halt and they start to stare into space.
You would like it here. Life is quite ordinary And the self-pity oozes into the glass like bitters. What’s your poison? Do you have a desire to drown? We’re all in the same boat. Join us. Feel free.
And when the bar closes we can say goodbye And make our way to the terminal where the last (Or is it the first?) train of the day is clean and waiting To take us slowly back to where we came from.
But will we ever return? Who needs us now? It’s the town that requires us, though the streets are empty. It’s become a habit and a retreat. Or a form of justice. Living in a sunny town like this.
I cut myself upon the thought of you And yet I come back to it again and again, A kind of fury makes me want to draw you out From the dimness of the present And set you sharply above me in a wheel of roses. Then, going obviously to inhale their fragrance, I touch the blade of you and cling upon it, And only when the blood runs out across my fingers Am I at all satisfied.
This is where I share inspiration from the week–podcasts, books, music, art, movies, food, and more!
Alan and I made a fantastic new vegan gluten free soup recently in the Instantpot. Although I’m not much of a gadget person, since my mom gave me an Instantpot, (thanks, Mom!) we gave it a try and the soup was amazing. Honestly, I probably could’ve made the soup just as quickly on the stovetop. It’s not “instant” at all.
First you have to wait for the pressure to build (about 20 minutes), then it cooks (about 25 minutes for this particular soup), and then the pressure slowly releases (another 15 minutes). But it would come in handy if I was cooking several dishes at once and needed an extra burner.
I have four great books to share with you and I recommend all of them. Yes, all of them! They are like vitamins that will boost your nutrition in different ways.
Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon can be read in about an hour. If you’re an artist, maker, entrepreneur, influencer, etc., grab this book and prepare to be encouraged. Kleon’s ten ways are so helpful to be reminded of: The first one is that “Every Day is Groundhog Day”, meaning every day we start over. Have a to-do list and work through it.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra is also a shortish book. This book was the first I’ve read by Deepak Chopra, and it won’t be the last. The Laws include The Law of Pure Potentiality, The Law of Giving, and The Law of Intention and Desire. At the end of each chapter are several ways to practice and act upon what you’ve read. If you know you have inner work to do in order to develop a more mature character who can handle success, start with this book.
Where does she start? With earlier, lighter dinners, moves on to go to bed early, and start your day right. Ayurveda is super practical and gets right to work dealing with your habits and what needs to change in order to have a better life. If you need a wellness boost or want to learn more about Ayurveda, here is practical place to begin.
Emergence: Seven Steps For Radical Life Change by Derek Rydall is one of two books by this author I purchased this summer. There is so much in this book that was new to me and many things that aligned with what I learned while living much of my life in a Christian culture.
Some of the many valuable pieces of wisdom he shares on are: giving, generosity, visualization, and acting from where you want to be, not where you are. This book is great if you recognize you need to develop a more positive, grateful mind and attitude and if you have goals you are working toward but have a feeling it all starts with you. This book will show you the way!
We sat together at one summer’s end, That beautiful mild woman, your close friend, And you and I, and talked of poetry. I said, ‘A line will take us hours maybe; Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought, Our stitching and unstitching has been naught. Better go down upon your marrow-bones And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather; For to articulate sweet sounds together Is to work harder than all these, and yet Be thought an idler by the noisy set Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen The martyrs call the world.’
And thereupon That beautiful mild woman for whose sake There’s many a one shall find out all heartache On finding that her voice is sweet and low Replied, ‘To be born woman is to know— Although they do not talk of it at school— That we must labour to be beautiful.’ I said, ‘It’s certain there is no fine thing Since Adam’s fall but needs much labouring. There have been lovers who thought love should be So much compounded of high courtesy That they would sigh and quote with learned looks Precedents out of beautiful old books; Yet now it seems an idle trade enough.’
We sat grown quiet at the name of love; We saw the last embers of daylight die, And in the trembling blue-green of the sky A moon, worn as if it had been a shell Washed by time’s waters as they rose and fell About the stars and broke in days and years.
I had a thought for no one’s but your ears: That you were beautiful, and that I strove To love you in the old high way of love; That it had all seemed happy, and yet we’d grown As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.