The evening sky although not an all singing, all colours sunset, more of a Turner, was beautiful; the hint of brightness on the horizon as if proving there are hearteningly better times to come.
A family was exercising in the circuit of the beach car park (which has been closed to visitors since the outset of the debacle when the whole world and its mother agreed this a better place to self isolate or take daily exercise than any city, until dissuaded). The parents raced in opposing directions at full speed on their bikes and a little girl, no more than three or four, ran a whole lap. Impossible not to cheer her on. She glanced at us undeterred.
I am impressed by two poems currently. One, an ancient prayer and a hymn, a Celtic Blessing that was played at my mother’s funeral, sung by Aled Jones to the tune by Rutter. The prayer, the music and the occasion deeply imprinted until time slowly erodes the memory to the bare bones. The other, probably also a song, new year wishes by Jacques Brel.
Both are love songs. Unconventional, in a way, but surely, to wish anyone the deep peace of the universe with or without the inclusion of Christ is an act of love. So too the fervent wish for at least one bounteous dream to come true.
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.
New Year wishes by Jacques Brel
I wish you dreams with no end and the furious desire to realise some of them. I wish you to love what should be loved and forget what you need to forget. I wish you passion, I wish you silence, I wish you to hear birds singing and children laughing when you wake up. I wish that you respect other people’s differences because the merits and value of each person are worth discovering. I wish that you resist getting stuck, that you resist being indifferent and that you resist the negativity and righteousness of our time. Finally, I wish that you never renounce discovery, adventure, life, love because life is a magnificent adventure and no reasonable person should renounce it without a courageous battle. I especially wish you to be yourself, to be proud of who you are and happy because happiness is our true destiny.
I’m trying to commit Sea Fever to memory. Mostly for the last line about the long trick being over. The pandemic being the long trick in point. Spike Milligan often intrudes on the Masefield version.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky. I left my shoes and socks there – I wonder if they’re dry. Of course, vest and pants also works here.
Sea fever seems preferable to cabin fever and while we still have the option of daily exercise and we live by the sea, I must go down to the sea again. Etc
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.