It’s been a while since I posted. Been crazy busy getting on with my Creative Writing MA at uni. Having plenty of meltdowns about just how hard it is to manage financially and be in education. At present, I’m having a total ban on doubt and worry and am being happy and optimistic about everything. The change of attitude is such a relief, I wonder why I didn’t stop stressing earlier. Only 14,000 words to submit by 5th May and then a dissertation to write. I can do this!
I discovered a previously unseen track off my path this year. It was such a big detour that it’s become the new path – and that’s exciting – I’ve found a love for non-fiction nature writing and have decided to go with the passion and see where it takes me.
A few days ago, I was describing the beautiful silver birch outside my window to my brother in an e-mail. I appreciate it everyday as I sit at my desk to write. It looks particularly stunning this time of year with its effervescent dress of silver flashing brightly in the wind. It hides the ugly house and lamp-post behind, so its always nice when it comes into leaf. Then, whilst in the bath, I heard a lot of racket outside. I came into the study wondering why there was a man up the tree, only to see the final blow as the top was cut and fell to the ground.
I burst into tears. Dragged some clothes on and ran outside with wet hair to ask the neighbour what on earth was happening. He showed me a brick in his neatly laid parking space that had been pushed askew by the tree’s roots. I confess, I just wanted to push him into the council shredder too. All that beauty and life gone, so an old man can park his precious car. It’s hard to stay positive when people’s priorities are so peculiar to me.
So, I went to my writing group, offloaded my distress (thanks lovely people) and wrote a poem:
Your precious leaves flashed like silver coins but your worth was not enough.
I fled from the site of destruction, all evidence of life shredded in a council truck.
I closed the blinds before I went. I would have dropped a flag.
I feed onto the endless human motorway, the sky pallid like sliced white.
Encased in cocoons of metal and plastic. Business meetings, places to be.
I turn into the countryside – greening lanes and fields of rape
fluorescent and sticky like gobstoppers.
Rushing past Challock woods, a sea haze beneath sweet chestnut trees
The bluebells are out.
Their scent, their colour, their song, hits me like a mighty chorus in a cathedral,
Then on the way home I walked in King’s Wood and restored my faith.