Random Acts of Kindness

global pilgrims

I confess to idling this morning with a feeling of vacancy. This is not unusual, especially now we live in the land of procrastination and retrospection. All kinds of spection really, including intro. But it is Sunday after all and that’s a day of rest.

Turning to the internet to look myself up before doing anything constructive I was seduced by another Mary J Howell who is/was prolific. Her list of books is daunting. A random two from the list give a flavour.

The Hand-Book Of Dress-Making; Including Correct Rules For The Pursuit Of The Above Art, And Concisely Illustrating The Mode of Fitting At Sight (Paperback)


The Hand-Book Of Millinery – Comprised In A Series Of Lessons For The Formation Of Bonnets. Capotes, Turbans, Caps, Bows, Etc – To Which Is Appended A Treatise On Taste, And The Blending Of Colours – Also An Essay On Corset Making (Hardback)

by Mary J Howell (pas moi, I’m afraid). Obviously she didn’t idle and blame her adoptive country.

Apart from the crossword, the paper and the internet, I have read of ‘random acts of kindness’ from one of my Camino contacts. No kind deed that I could perform, random or otherwise, comes to mind, only one that happened to me.

On a solitary trip to the local flea pit once, I had no cash only a card, and the cinema accepted only cash and no cards. A woman in the queue bought me a ticket. ‘Here you are.’ and she was gone. I didn’t see her again. But that random act of kindness has stayed with me. I think of it occasionally when I’m idling.

When I mention this to Sunny Boy he suggests I make him a cup of tea. It’s a start.

Consoled by lists

Today I hoped to:

prune a camellia that has finished flowering and is now 20 feet tall.

transform an overgrown flowerbed to a neatly planted drift of pink ,white and blue.

write scintillatingly, eloquently for my blog and a chapter of my new book.

instead I have:

watched my mother growing pink in the June sunshine and turning the pages of Nick Hornby, ‘How to be Good,’

cooked a roast dinner and

pondered the similarities of writing and gardening: both can be put off indefinitely.

At least I did dig out two tree stumps that have been on the list  for  years.

(one big tick.)

writing, poems and friends

The pleasant tap of a wood pecker that accompanies our outdoor breakfast most days has stopped of late.  Perhaps wood peckers migrate for the summer.  More likely the insistent tap of the roofer in our neighbour’s garden has drowned him out.  The roofer is more methodical in his tapping. He places  each slate deftly and then taps away.  Row after row, so neatly, the visual effect is pleasing:  new tiles like lines of typing on a page.

There is sun today and there will be a walk in the hills with views of the sea, and lunch  with a friend and I am reminded of a poem

Oxford Brookes promote poetry. A poem comes along each week, singing its way to the in box.  This one something special but then each one is the same: something special

Weekly Poem for 10 Dec 2012

My Friend Mary Stone From Oxford Mississippi

We know we ought to be enemies,
her voice perhaps,
thirty three years off the Delta and
still caked in mud or
my hair perhaps,
bushed for the warrior women of Dahomey,
we know we ought to be enemies, only
Oh Mr. Faulkner
to prevail is such an awe full responsibility
to “have a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and
is an awe full responsibility but
we know we have to try it and
we are both trying to try it
red as the clay hills and blacker than loam

by Lucille Clifton

The sense of place conveyed by this so different from the back garden now overlooked by the eaves of an extension.  (Oxford, Mississippi.  where William F was from, no?)

A place gives shared history.  To come from the same place, to live in the same place.  Not necessarily of this world tho, can be the same astral plane.
I am a believer.  How else or what else would describe that feeling of kinship that two strangers or two friends feel for one another?