Thursday, November 3, 2011


I was clearing out our tiny study space the other day and came across bits and pieces of notebook-writing from sessions with a friend about six years ago. One of the things we did was to have a pick-and-mix of words, and I think this piece probably came from the word 'Home'. We used to go back and underline bits afterwards, for whatever reason. I have kept those in.

The question of how to keep the fire burning is ongoing:

I still don't know where it is. Am only just beginning to feel that England may after all be it, because after all, where else? Germany - but we were nearly wiped out there, and home should never be in a place where they once tried to kill you off. And anyway, this is where I am - this England, this particular village which I may or may not move from. I have a restlessness inside that both looks for home and seeks to avoid it. I want roots, to feel connected to a place, yet I don't want to be tied and constrained, unable to leave in case a move kills me. You have to be careful with roots. P (friend) always talks of renewing the ancient hearth. He has a ready-made hearth, one that he also tends, at (place of work). My hearth is where I light my candle or, failing that, where I come alight in a group of people with something to share that is more than just a box of chocolates. Though, a box of chocolates can be a hearth too, for a few minutes, and perhaps in this time and place we can't expect more than a series of temporary homes and hearths. The I Ching has told me, The wanderer has no place to lay his head; and once I wrote, I lay my head on my lover's shoulder, it smells of grass and reminds me of home.

When you lose a lover, a marriage partner, a close friend, you feel a sense of exile. The lay of the land is suddenly different. I feel this all the time, the ground shifting beneath my feet; also, the fear of coming home to oneself and no fire in the hearth, no lamp lit, nothing to eat. I have my own hut, and a good one too, but the walls have gaps in them where the wind whistles through and I forget to bring in the wood so I have something to burn, to make fire with. Without fire, no home.



Fire Bird said...

feeling lost inside the only thing that makes sense right now is my wood burning stove... lighting and tending and warming and gazing...

WV - squilly

Anonymous said...

back there with you and the deep dive into words. the exercise was from MA at sussex where you write freely, then underline what most moves you, choose one phrase, start with it and again write for seven minutes, and again - then write a poem.
home is perhaps the shelter we build in writing.

Reading the Signs said...

FB, wood burning stove sounds good for gathering the lost self.

Anon, you may have done that on the MA - but I had been doing that for a long time already :)

At this particular moment in time, home is the circle of light cast by the anglepoise lamp.

Zhoen said...

Having moved many times, there is always the feeling of wanting stability. Then, I look at how much the places I might have stayed have changed - and to imagine myself still there feels sad and stifling. Even to stay in one place requires living with change.