Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The soft and the silver

This is a soft and silver time of inbetween.

The day is just dawning here on England’s south coast.  I like to sleep with the window open, and sitting in bed typing in my tiny room I smell the cold and the rain, the fragrance of cool water, the freshness of new day.  I think of the peaceful leaves in the garden, dark green and lime and dappled and yellow, dripping in the dew rain fog of morning.  Diamonded with stripey-sock-spider webs frissoning in the movement of air.  The sky is silver purple blue and heavy with cloud.  I love the quiet and serene cold in this dawn.

Here in my room the colours are muted.  My tiny room is big with shadows, the walls indeterminate soft green grey, the carpet soft vague, the colour of skin.  Around the room the murmured shades of wood and leather, paper and wool, cotton and clay. The clothes hanging on my door are purple, black and dark green. My linen curtains are ivory and aubergine, ochre and green.  My bed linen is tobacco brown.  I am snuggled in my old grey hoodie fleece.  It is vast.  I love it.

Inbetween.  Waiting for the sunrise.  Waiting to have my teeth fixed this afternoon.  Waiting for the rain to end so Joe can fix the path.  Waiting for my publishers, who have had my manuscript this long year long, to say if they feel they can work with it – a passionate story of near the bone reality.  Waiting for the time to come to conduct this difficult funeral on Friday, with its fathomless depths and dark shards of grief and unbearable loss and its shining surface of professionalism and control.  Waiting to know what it feels like to stand in that gaze of so many eyes whose sorrow demands perfection as the price of pain (it is difficult sometimes, conducting funerals!!).  Waiting for it to be time to go and wash and start the day without disturbing the sleep of the household.  Waiting for it to be time to catch the bus to Battle for my beautiful mama’s happy birthday today.  Waiting and watching as she grows old – 85! – and brooding over her child soul with its charm and devastating insecurities, praying that old age will hold her hand considerately, and death when it comes will lift her in her sleep so light and gently cradled she never feels the movement through the air.  How soft and silver is old age.  Waiting . . . returning again and again to wisdom lessons I really know but have not persevered with.  Breathing waiting breathing, returning patiently to the aliveness of wisdom I know, picking up the hidden and unsignalled discipline of the quiet holy – Lord, help me to grasp what you hold out; love, patience, cheerfulness.  Help me to follow the light.  I bless the silent grey smell of this dove soft silver day slipping unobtrusively out of its sheath of shadow into light.  May we, whose day it is, make it beautiful.

365 366 Day 277 – Wednesday October 3rd   

A room oil thingy.  I think this was quite useful in an occasional sort of way, but hey, you just get desperate surrounded by all these items.

365 366 Day 276 – Tuesday October 2nd   

Two VHS tapes.  For some reason they won’t fit in the DVD slot . . .

365 366 Day 275 – Monday October 1st   

A cellular blanket.  Pretty shade of blue.  I wonder if we’ll be cold without it?  I don’t think so.  We can wear fleeces in bed and snuggle up to each other if we are.  Aye, and bedsocks, and hot water bottles . . .

365 366 Day 274 – Sunday September 30th  

Oh good, three more pillowcases.  They made good bags to put clothes in for the charity shop.

365 366 Day 273 – Saturday September 29th  

Six white pillowcases.  I have need these multi-give-aways, because I’ve bought some new clothes recently. Hmm, yes, and some books – and it’s one-in-two-out, remember?

365 366 Day 272 – Friday September 28th  

A dear little Japanese cooking pot I fell in love with and bought.  Nothing more to say about it really.  I expect some other woman fell in love with it in the charity shop.

365 366 Day 271 – Thursday September 27th  

Friends and family sometimes make use of me as a kind of rubbish chute.  Stuff they no longer want, they give to me, so they don’t have to feel guilty at its disposal.  I don’t mind too much except when they do it on my birthday – give me their old junk as a birthday present, I mean.  And even then the audacity kinda makes me smile.  Anyway, this Victoriana came from my great-grandmother, Louisa Ellen Hird.  My mama has held on to it for years, and now she is old and recognising the need to prune the chattels.  So she gave it to me.  As it’s old and beautiful I offered it to the hospice fundraiser, but no interest.  So it went to the charity shop.  I hope it found a good home.   They were wonderful, really, these books; but the world is full of wonders and if we take them all home we get into difficulties.

365 366 Day 270 – Wednesday September 26th  

This is a thing from the Post Office to measure a parcel for assessing the cost of sending it.  Well, when I send a parcel or a letter, I either look at it and see at once what category it’s in, or else mistrust my judgement and ask the lady at the Post Office to make pronouncement.  The plastic thing never helped.

365 366 Day 269 – Tuesday September 25th  

Two small wine glasses – sherry glasses.  If I have a glass of wine now, I drink it from one of my little Japanese teacups.

365 366 Day 268 – Monday September 24th  

Boots for being smart in.  I had several pairs of these.  They represented aspirations to elegance.  I prefer comfort these days  :0)


Katrina Green said...

Thanks for the continued encouragement to go on letting go of stuff.

I seem to have a problem moving the things I've collected to go to the charity shop, actually out of the door and to the shop. I wonder why I seem to like having heaps of goodies piled by the front door?

Perhaps I like the in-between better than the finished.

Must tackle this today.

Gerry Snape said...

great post...poetry for National Poetry the sun is shining which always lifts my spirit, the mile-a-minute vine has reached the end of the mile and soon I will have to cut it down and make all tidy again...not so good at tidy! I have a lovely person who donates all extra in her home to me as she believes that I can find the right place to pass it on to! I do!
I hope that the book works out.

Bean said...

Good Morning Ember,

Soft and silver, words I will ponder upon as I go about my day. Soft and silver such a gentle way to age, to end a day, to begin a morning. Soft and silver.

On a more practical side of things, if you do begin preaching again would there be a chance that you would be recorded, and if you are, would there be a chance we could hear the recordings.....:)?

Will be praying for you as you prepare for the funeral.

Blessings to you,


Asta Lander said...

Waiting. Waiting for the packers and their removalist's truck. Waiting for reality to hit that I have to say goodbye to the town I grew up in, again. Waiting and knowing that in the waiting a new day is dawning and life is unfolding. I am waiting expectantly...My favourite time of the day is when it is awakening. May I welcome this time of change in the same light.
Thank you for your post, Pen - this snap shot of your morning. A x

Ember said...

Katrina - it is something of a Labour of Hercules, isn't it!

Gerry - I'm glad you are so sure she's lovely; I would feel more hesitant.

Bean - Thank you for you prayer, I do appreciate it and it always makes a difference. If I preach again it will almost certainly not be recorded - these are village chapels in the Sussex countryside for the most part.

Asta - God bless your move - what an upheaval!


maria said...

Oh Pen...aspirations to elegance - I like this line a great deal :)

in between stages, are a pause in each of our lives. They are filled with uncertainty but also with grace...a great deal of it, if you just be still and let it be.

Praying that the funeral will be conducted with the utmost compassion my friend. May the Spirit of Our Savior guide you through.


Ember said...

Thank you, Maria :0)

Blessings on your day xx

Paula said...


Ember said...

:0) x

Rebecca said...

Sigh. I want to linger in your muted environment, soft and silverm, and adopt at least 8 to 10 lines of your wisdom as my own.

Unfortunately, I collect profound and well-stated sentences but find no way to properly store and tend them. So I leave with reluctance, looking back over my should wistfully.

Ember said...


Lynda said...

LOL! When I read your post title and saw your photo underneath I thought the title was referring to your hair!! :o)

Happy birthday to your mum!!


Julie said...

Ditto to everyone's comments!


Ember said...

:0) x

Ember said...

Lynda - yes, my hair too! x

Anonymous said...

Another lovely post.

Mainly wanted to mention that I've added Kindred of the Quiet Way to my blogroll.

Ember said...

Hi Bruce - that's so nice; thank you very much :0)

Bri said...

Hello Ember,
I enjoyed this post so much, that I got dreamy this afternoon. Just today I discovered your blog and I am happy to find lots of wonderful reading stuff here. This idea of getting rid of one item every day is brilliant!

Ember said...

Hello friend - good to see you over here! I so enjoy your Innermost House contributions x