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Blue Notes, Green Fuse

Tom created this epainting sitting in bed the other morning, looking down at the blue pool of hydrangeas beneath our window. In March, when we moved in, there were no clues about colour in the withered husks of last year’s flower-heads. Now, in a few short months, here they are in full bloom, purple from a distance but blue as you draw close.

Looking at these flowers, I’ve often been reminded of lines from D H Lawrence’s ‘Bavarian Gentians’ written when Lawrence was so aware of his own mortality. The ‘darker and darker stairs, where blue is darkened on blueness’. A poem suffused with beauty and sadness. There’s been too much sadness in the news this week, too many young lives curtailed. Locally too, the community is coming to terms with the death of a fifteen year old boy struck by a car when concerns about an unexploded WW2 shell diverted school children from their usual routes home and onto a main road. It’s all the lost potential that makes me despair.

This week, a hard-to-find John Martyn album I’d ordered to replace my worn-out vinyl copy finally arrived. Coincidentally, Chris Nickson’s biography of John Martyn, Solid Air, also became available this week. It’s a beautifully-written, lucid account of the man and the musician – not always, as Nickson reminds us, a comfortable mix. I love John Martyn for those achingly sublime moments, but there are plenty of tracks which fall short when the man sometimes got the better of the musician. John Martyn may have only been sixty when he died, but reading this biography made me keenly aware of how very young he was, just seventeen, when his professional career began and how much music he packed into his life. And whilst I’m on the subject of lost artists, there’s a wonderful tribute to Lucian Freud by Frances at her blog City Views, Country Dreams. Do have a look, especially if you think Freud was only about acres of flesh, and see his beautiful drawings.

On a happier note, the other poem that often comes to mind when I’m walking round the garden or feeling exhilarated after a swim in the sea is Dylan Thomas’s ‘The Force That through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower’. Life goes on. This weekend, oblivious to lives being taken or changed, we had a wonderful time catching up with my daughter, Rose, and her partner Si. We walked and swam and simply enjoyed being together in glorious weather. Ma’s feeling rejuvenated too, after her brush with serious injury in December. Yesterday, she phoned to tell me that she’d booked herself up on ‘a computer course for wrinklies’ since she’s itching to buy herself a laptop. And finally, Stepson One and his fiancĂ©e, Gill, fly off to Grenada tomorrow to get married. Here’s wishing them every happiness on their wedding day and for their lives together.


Pondside said…
Such a lot going on in your quiet house by the sea, Chris. A new medium, a marriage.....change and change again - it keeps us engaged in life!
Frances said…
Chris, I love the way your post meanders gracefully amongst blue notes.

I very much like Tom's hydrangia-inspired picture. He's inspiring me to get my sketchpad out today. Don't think I can find any excuses not to!

Oh, please tell Tom that I have begun reading Michio Kaku's Physics of the Future. I have already needed to check it out twice from the Library. I never took any physics classes in schooldays, so this is a bit of a stretch for me.

Best wishes to you and yours.

It's much cooler in New York today. Hoooray! xo
Teresa said…

I Love your hydrangeas. Really do. And I enjoy how you let them grow the way they wanted. Iwish I was that brave ahahahah.
Mine are not that blueish but the same mound has several tones of rose - going from almost-white to almost-purple.

The blue ones indicate the land is rich in iron... gold or oil would be better for you ahahahah but hydrangeas really dig the iron thing.

That's the feeling I'm holding this week:

"It’s all the lost potential that makes me despair."

Even for the mad man that perpetrated the attack in Norway.

Wishing the best to the soon newlyweds and congratulations to the proud family for raising them in way that lead them to make the commitement and trying the best.

That's Life - a door in closed but several windows open cheering us to go on believing, trusting, loving...

Have a Nice Week!

Flowerpot said…
Wonderful epainting, Chris, and glad to hear of all your news - another friend with many changes! Take care x
Debs Carr said…
What an incredible e-painting.

There's so much going on in your house. Good for your mum for taking the course. My mother in law won an Ipad a few weeks ago and send her first email the other day, she's 83!
Chris Stovell said…
Pondside, yes, it's surprising how busy we keep being that we moved to the country to live a quieter life!

Frances, Tom's really enjoying some epainting... a new medium for you? If Michio Kaku's book comes up with an explanation for running into him at the Met that night, you wil let us know won't you? I still can't quite brace myself to read him so I admire you for your determination! I'm glad it's cooler there... although the temperature still seemed high compared with this part of the world!

Teresa, ah, thank you so much. I knew that some mineral was responsible for their colour, but I'm very disappointed it isn't gold... of course, then the hydrangeas would have to go, so perhaps it's better like this! Thank you so much for your kind words and good wishes.

FP, yes, we manage to pack a lot in between us, don't we? (I wonder if it was something to do with that tin of chocolate all those years ago!).

Debs, thatn's brilliant about your MiL... now having visions of Ma on Twitter *shakes head*!
Fennie said…
Hide Ranger? Hi Draynger! Draynger with friends Purr and Pull. I don't know. Like you it is strangely difficult to be serious in the face of pointless death and your 15 year old sounds another instance of H and S gone mad. A 70 year old shell is just a 70 year old shell but a main road is a main road. Questions of risk. Love to know what you call your house. I think I'd call it Mandalay, especially if it had a long drive. It seems to have all the ingredients. (Your Mum isn't a Danvers is she?)
elizabethm said…
Moving mixture of loss and happiness. I love Tom's picture too. You are catching my mood today.
Dizzy C said…
Oh wow beautiful flowers.

Congrats to your Stepson on his marriage.

You must be relieved that your Ma feels well enough for a new challenge :)

Fran said…
I like all these references to poems.
Chris Stovell said…
Fennie, no, although it can sometimes feel if we're in the middle of a Daphne du Maurier novel!

Elizabeth, yes, sometimes it helps to let it out.

DizzyC, thank you.

Fran, I like yours too.

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