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 fiancée, Gill, fly off to Grenada tomorrow to get married. Here’s wishing them every happiness on their wedding day and for their lives together.