Wednesday, October 3, 2012
This Li'l Light
We find ourselves in birthday territory again. I say 'we' because sometimes I find I think of myself as a plural, almost as though there is the 'I' that carries on with the business of daily life and another 'I' that observes it. A morning of writing with two writerly friends with whom I have met for many years. We meet, if we can, once a week and write without workshopping. We do this for about an hour and fifteen minutes and then share what we have written. We honour each others' birthdays - so the lit candle in the scone is for me. There is my hand holding the knife, my hard-backed turquoise notebook in which I will soon (after eating the scone) write three pages of words, mostly inspired by thoughts about the moon because of the birthday cards (here is one).
The writing did not come easy, the inner flame, compromised by my unwelcome but faithful companion Fatigue, was low and it is easy to lose the plot. Poetry is sometimes forgiving about this because the plot of a poem is always just whatever is happening in the poem and one doesn't even need to know what that is. Sometimes, even with the meanest measure of vitality, it is possible to find oneself carried along with the flow of words. And then there is this magic, that where there was nothing, now there is something.
It is that small candle, though, that has stayed with me. A flame is a flame. I have been thinking about the many extraordinary people I have come to know - those who live with the more severe kind of M.E. Whether they have been made extraordinary by the fact of having endured conditions that most people would find unthinkable, with little support, scant respect and an uncertain future, or whether they were already extraordinary I don't feel the need to speculate. I just feel lucky to know them - see how they shine.