Queen Anne’s Lace is the first plant I can remember, from a picnic in in a green, tree-ringed meadow in Yorkshire with a little stream running through – my brother caught minnows in a jam-jar, and I heard my first cuckoo. I even love the slightly cloying, dusty smell because it is caught up with my first realisation that nature was made up of separate things, that the meadow didn’t generate the cuckoo song, it was a bird, and that the fish weren’t part of the stream, they were in it. Of course I could argue the exact opposite now but that isn’t the point! I saw the world differently that day, and it was infinitely beautiful. I could see and feel and hear and smell it with every pore of my body.
So, is it possible to do that here and now? Yes it is, and it is the best part of my day to slip into a trance of observation. Coming back in a little boat from Angel Island in the dark last night with salt spray on my face and a chill wind, full moon, that was a moment. Listening to madrigals all alone in the small hours: moment. I spend so much of a day braced and armoured against intrusions, shocks, noises and interruptions that I constantly wonder how I can structure my day better to avoid them. When I am simply cutting my fabrics or sewing, or wrapping and labelling, they can all have that quality of happy absorption so work isn’t the problem. May be it is …people.
The weaving samples of the fabrics I commissioned arrived today and they are beautiful beyond beautiful. Mary gave me a whole box of wonderful books and they are sitting on the edge of consciousness like an island of delight. I am just about to walk the dog along the breakwater and when I get back we will sit on the deck and watch the sun go down, and I will tell Stefan about my mad scheme to paint a long lock of kelp onto the dock, and he will tell me about his progress, then we will eat and watch a film. These are the good bits, the question is, is it possible to have more of them? Or like Lucy in Peanuts, am I discontent with life’s ups and downs and asking instead for ups and upper ups? This is philosophy, people.