July 19th, 2020

speaker, coach, consultant

Poem of the day

On the Pulse of Morning

BY MAYA ANGELOU

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,   
Marked the mastodon,
The dinosaur, who left dried tokens   
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom   
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,   
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow,
I will give you no hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in   
The bruising darkness
Have lain too long
Facedown in ignorance,
Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out to us today,   
You may stand upon me,   
But do not hide your face.

[...]

Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning” (excerpt) from On the Pulse of Morning. Copyright © 1993 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.


speaker, coach, consultant

All alone

“A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms

I spent yesterday on my own — save of course for Alfie but he seemed miles away.

I mostly read, alongside a bit of ironing and housework. 

I used to be fanatical about cleaning — a hangover from living with fastidious parents — but I cleaned enough so that Alli and the girls could come back home without much to do.

It was no accident that the book I found myself inexorably drawn to was 'Journal of a Solitude' by May Sarton. 

What an extraordinary book — right up there with my top two or three books. 

I'm not sure now if this post is inspired by the book or my being alone. The latter, I think.

You see, for most of my childhood and probably up to the time I met Alli (1989), I spent vast tracts of time on my own. If my recollection serves me well, it was a combination of having no relationship with my elder and only brother — two years my senior — and my parents making it quite clear to me (no doubt, because I was an awkward SOB) that children (i.e. me) should be seen and not heard; I went one better and routinely left the house, either after school finished, the weekends or during school holidays; and I mostly walked around the Devon lanes or went to the beach — Paignton or Goodrington. 

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