Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Being thankful

At last after eight weeks of virtually camping out in the rest of the house the kitchen is completed and how thankful it makes you feel. Last Wednesday the final vinyl flooring was fitted and the machines moved back. We could always use the fridge/freezer and tumble drier in the dining room but having the washing machine back is a whole new experience. For eight weeks my husband and I have been virtual 'washing nomads', that is to say, drifting from house to house and friend to friend whenever we were invited out to bring our washing with us. It certainly makes you grateful for friends but also makes you feel a bit of a burden to others. So much easier to give than receive in many ways. But what about those who have nothing, not even running water? Do they feel a burden to have to be constantly asking for things? We forget in the privileged western world just how much we take for granted like washing machines and running water.

As writers too don't we stress out on the little things of life, like whether or not we will ever get published or if we do who will ever read our book? We must just trust that if it's good enough to be published then it will demonstrate it's own value. If our writing helps or changes just one life then surely it will have done it's job. Alright it's not the way to get rich quick but it is a way to make a difference which is more important. Anyway, regarding money, most of us (not all in this country but most) don't have to struggle for the basics of life like food and water and surely that's reason enough to be thankful isn't it?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Inspiration from Devon

This seat in Ottery St Mary's Churchyard bears the words -: 'For remembering those we have loved and lost though never had the joy of meeting'. Well, there is a certain logic in that if we think of our ancestors but also a bizarre message that could have been inspired by Coleridge's own logic!

I must be one of the only writers and lovers of Coleridge's poetry not to be aware of the Ottery St Mary's link with him until now. But how inspiring to walk around the very places where he walked into his father's church and look at the very same old 14th century clock that Coleridge looked on. He who never really fitted in, was always a little different but with an vast intellect. I find his 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' one of the greatest poems ever written and certainly the best description of sin and its consequences in the entire English language.

After a difficult autumn with lots of challenges it was great to get away for a few days to Devon and be uplifted, inspired and re-invigorated by such an amazing poet. Thanks STC, one of my all time favourite poets.

In the words of his own Epitaph

Stop, Christian passer-by! - Stop, child of God,
And read with gentle breast. Beneath this sod
A poet lies, or that which once seem'd he.
O, lift one thought in prayer for STC;
That he who many a year with toil of breath
Found death in life, may here find life in death!
Mercy for praise - to be forgiven for fame
He ask'd, and hoped, through Christ. Do thou the same!

Great advice from a great poet.