We went on a big adventure today, Katie, Erin and I. In the morning, we lazily gathered around the breakfast table, enjoying the sunshine and letting the day unfold. Then, Andrew led us over to the farmer’s market, through all of the roadworks that seem to change more than the indecisive staircases in the Harry Potter books. We spent a good time exploring all the stalls, saying hello to the merchants. We may not have the largest farmer’s market here, but Erin thinks we have the friendliest.
As the afternoon crept on, we explored the Royal Mile, hitting:
- Postcard stands
- A bagpiper (not actually hitting him, but getting our pictures taken)
- A street performer (they’re cropping up everywhere now that Spring has almost hit)
- The Scottish Storytelling Centre
- Ragamuffin (a beautiful, beautiful Scottish textile/sweater/clothing store)
- The Scottish Poetry Library
- The Museum of Childhood
Phew! We tried to hit the Writer’s Museum on the way home, but it had closed already, so we’ve tentatively added it to our list for Monday. Not to ruin the surprise of something I’ve collected to send you, but we were doing a bit of hunting down the famed Book Sculptures, kind of a mini pilgrimage. No, I am not sending you the sculptures themselves. They’re all behind glass, and I think people would notice if they were missing.
I really loved spending the day with Katie and Erin. We made up a ton of stories and always found things to laugh about. In the Museum of Childhood, we spied a doll’s house that had guitars with real strings, as well as the old roller- and ice-skates that you used to lace to your shoes, all smaller than the size of my fingernail. We saw a zoo of animals made out of pipe-cleaners:
With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.
Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life.
Johan Wolfgang von Goethe
I borrowed two poetry books from the library while we were there:
Exemplary Damages by Dennis O’Driscoll, which I have (signed) at home, but felt like I needed to re-read as part of my stop-and-start grieving process for him. I also briefly flipped through a great article about him in the Poetry Review, which I’ve ordered a copy of to read further.
And, A Resurrection of a Kind by Christopher Rush, whom I know nothing about except that I picked up the book because I mistook him to be Christopher Reid, who is another poet that I know of, who I also strangely confuse with Matthew Hollis, but that’s a whole different train of thought that I’m not jumping on tonight. Anyway, picked up Rush because of opening the book and turning straight to “Spring Song”, which I’ll share with you after a Jack Spicer proclamation…
Poet, Be Like God
The boys above the swimming pool receive the sun.
Their groins are pressed against the warm cement.
They look as if they dream. As if their bodies dream.
Rescue their bodies from the poisoned sun,
Shelter the dreamers. They’re like lobsters now
Hot red and private as they dream,
They dream about themselves.
They dream of dreams about themselves.
They dream they dream of dreams about themselves.
Splash them with twilight like a wet bat.
Unbind the dreamers.
Be like God.
P.S. I am SO glad you enjoyed the King & I. One of my favorites. I’m so sorry I couldn’t stop talking about poetry and adventures today to do more reflecting on your beautiful experience. I haven’t even told you about how perfect Andrew was in enlisting Erin to help him with dinner, or the picture I have of them shuffling green beans in the frying pan and flipping them together. The days are just packed with so much, and I know I need more poetry. How else do we choose a focus, decide what to speak of, but to give the spotlight to what needs to be nurtured most?
P.P.S. I bet the show was magical.
P.P.P.S. I used to sing ‘Something Wonderful’ all the time when I learned how to play piano.
Just about this time of year
you stop hard in your tracks
and listen. The earth is doing the same,
holding its breath after winter sleep.
This is the big lull before
the green storm of growth, the year’s
inarticulate calm, in which
you hear the coming recreation.
Between the snowdrops’ milky spate,
their white corpuscles, and the red
of roses in hot summer veins —
this sudden deafening of daffodils,
their golden trumpets proclamation
of resurrection to the woods.
Heaped up by roadsides, they’re Spring’s
scented drifts, gladdening the wintry ditch.
Crocuses have shot up to attention
on April’s green reveille, bugling
rebirth; primroses pour down braes:
banks are bewildered by their pale suns.
Look around: tractors in clouds
of gulls are combing the dark land,
hillsides alight with the whins’
first flames; swallows are on the wing.
And listen: you hear the swish of sap
in trees, lightly misted with green,
where birds are building. Early daisies
are starring the fields’ young universe.
It’s a new beginning, the annual start
afresh. Winter’s white cloth
has cleaned the canvas — the eternal
act of creation in the infinite I AM.