I have my own little ‘Scarborough Fair’ at my small veggie patch on the footpath in front of my apartment block. It is small but I can boast parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme along with lemongrass, rocket, mint and two tom thumb tomatoes. I have just planted a tiger tomatoe. Can’t wait to see it’s stripes!
At the moment I am entranced by the flowers on my sage plant. First time I have seen them.
Sage flowers in spring, 2013
Thanks to my favourite cookbook, Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion, I will be making a sage and nut crumb garnish for pasta with a side salad of rocket from my garden.
Stephanie quotes Rosemary Hemphill in Herbs for all Seasons “…the Romans grew sage wherever they travelled and that the herb was believed to prolong youth.” I’m making some sage tea right away, with a flourish of my lemongrass. Is life any sweeter?
This morning when I opened my Sydney Morning Herald, first published in 1831, on the eve of our national election I was confronted with a sign of the times. Centred on the front page of a paper that claims ‘Independent. Always.’ was an editorial endorsing one political party over another .My longstanding trust in this paper’s unbiased reportage was broken. My heart is heavy.
SMH now joins the political parties, shock jocks and other media outlets in this country’s race to the bottom. And my countrymen and women are following them. They have abandoned policy for for personalities and compassion for middle class welfare.
Riding my bike to work in one of the most beautiful cities in the world My focus was internal: problems at work; no time for my blog yet alone my other creative projects; just plain tired. Then it occurred to me if I was on holidays I would be looking at city with fresh and excited eyes, I looked up, saw the world and felt better.
I get a strange reassurance from Ernest Hemmingway’s comment on writing:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
I can do that!
Instead of luxuriating in time set aside for writing I am overwhelmed with life’s other demands. The place is a mess. My bills are piling up. My friends want to see me.
I sit at my computer. My would-be novel is in bits and pieces. My non-fiction articles beg to be finished. Brilliant ideas are now lying in the muddy waters of early development. My jaw locks. I’d rather be anywhere else than face the writing.
You start out all enthusiastic, Get a few likes and comments of encouragement. Off you go all shiny eyes and bushy tail,. Then life intervenes. A crazy work deadline. A new job. Fatigue. Familiarity.
The longer you leave off the writing the less inspired you are to share your life interests and observations with the blogosphere.
Your whingeing self has the loudest voice.
I’ve got nothing to write that’s interesting.
You always do this. Another bouncy start with a whimpering finish.
Then you hear your fainter writer voice trying to break through.
Get over yourself.Take these steps. Now!
Find ten minutes
Turn the computer on
Write anything even if you think it is dribble
Save it as draft
Turn the computer off
Come back later. Make it the same day. Review it
Put in a picture, even if it is a lettuce
Find a quote, even a joke
Check that your post is authentic. Real dribble is more endearing than show off verbal acrobatics
Publish. Voila! You are back on track.
I hate writing, but I love to have written.—Dorothy Parker
‘”Well, mind and hold tight by my shaggy coat, and then there’s nothing to fear,” said the Bear, so she rode a long, long way’ Illustration by Kay Nielsen in East of the sun and west of the moon (1914), (198 x 150 mm), Alexander Turnbull Library, qRPr HODD NIEL 1914.
I woke up this morning surprised as how rested I felt. But then my mind woke up too.
With extraordinary relentless speed and accuracy it recycled my current catalogue of concern. No job. No money. Too distracted to write.
With it’s ‘two for the price of one’ opportunism it resurrected items from my back catalogue as well. Too fat. Too stupid, Too old. Too blah. It’s all over.
Then like a faint signal from another universe the phrase ‘…the .peace that surpasses all understanding’ broke through this mind attack.
As a result of rigorous and extensive research (Google and Wikipedia, 15 mins tops) I discovered this phrase was a fragment of a letter—a very, very long letter—from Paul to the Philippians.
I got so caught up in this exercise that I forgot my worldly concerns. A peace that surpasses all understanding descended.
Forget positive thinking, mindfulness and radical self acceptance. Aim for a peace that surpasses all understanding despite your present circumstances.