I have walked the silent paths of grief
Despite it was my choice to care for him
I have slept on beds of cold dead leaves.
I do not want claim that death’s thief
Although my heart’s dear light and joy have gone
.I have never felt I was deceived.
I have learned that human life’s too brief.
I have learned by sorrow we’re undone.
I have sifted earth and what’s beneath
.I too felt my dark emotions seethe
While I have been mocked by brilliant sun.
I have learned the geography of grief.
I wait on earth for senseless life to cease
Or will a fluttering wing make chaos come,
Change my heart and give me a fresh lease?
Catastrophic grief will make us dumb
Into our hearts we drag the ice that numbs
I have walked the silent paths of grief
I have lain on beds of cold dark leaves
I cannot read Greek,Russian,Aramaic or Hebrew
Nor can most of my followers
I do not need to buy antibiotics online.I get them free from the NHS
I need no stimulants either
So don’t waste your time here
I saw the sun rise over the North Sea
Accentuating coloured fishing boats.
The beauty of the dawn gave hope to me
A restful pleasure made my soft eyes dote.
The peace of this small town has caught my heart.
Scenes from ancient times come close again
The gulls swoop down and sketch their flying charts
Remote as ever from the realm of man
The shingle beach,the Church where Britten lies
The in and out of tides of salty sea;
An exact match of houses,hill and skies
The amber shop, the bookshop,the oak tree,
In my mind I walk in love again;
Though of the two, a single one remains
We think we own our bodies and our minds
Not knowing when we have the gift of health
We use them without thought ,.with vision blind
Yet nature creeps up with her sylvan stealth.
When to work or when to take our ease,
The signals sent may never reach our brains.
But later, they will turn to constant pleas
For help to stop imposing far more strain.
Days we work and never take a rest
Except to slump by TV, tablet,screen.
It takes much time to learn what is the best
If not, what is will soon be ” what has been”
Let us learn our body’s signals clear
For then on earth our life will long en
In today’s society, many of us go through our whole lives without ever working with our hands; we live, we work, we eat, we buy, we repeat. Everything is made and delivered at a blistering rate, from fast food to fast fashion and, although this may keep the economy buoyant, it’s not necessarily good for our mental health, or for our planet.
But during the past year of lockdown, we have been forced to stay still. The hamster wheel has stopped, and for some of us – without young children to keep entertained – this has provided a unique moment of quiet contemplation. We have suddenly found ourselves with time to spare; time to tackle those half-finished projects and abandoned hobbies – and an increasing desire to be creative, and make things with our hands.
There has been a wealth of online craft workshops popping up on everything from crochet, collage, charcoal drawing and flower-arranging to spoon-carving. On TV, programmes such as Grayson’s Art Club have encouraged everyone to paint, draw or sculpt their view from a window with whatever materials they have at han
In the safety of our own homes, we have been able to try knitting for the first time, to have a go at oil pastels or attempt a pinch pot – without a teacher but also without the judgment of a teacher. The possibility of experimentation in the solitary environment of our own homes has spawned a new confidence in “having a go”, the prerequisite for learning. Mastery, after all, starts with dabbling. The freedom to create on our own has offered an effective therapy for uncertain times.
Like many of us during lockdown, my work was forced to go virtual. I am both an illustrator and textile repairer, specialising in delicate fabrics and traditional hand-sewing techniques. For the past few years, I have worked in collaboration with Toast, teaching customers how to care for and mend their garments, so that they might keep for longer. Normally, I would travel to their various stores around the country with a bag of cloth, needles and thread, to host workshops: four to five customers around a table practising their stitchwork over tea and conversation. It’s an intimate affair. So, when I began teaching online via Zoom, I was unsure if this new set-up would work, but I was happily surprised to find a surge of interest from all corners of the world – from Italy, Iceland, Portugal, Lithuania, India and the USA.
During the workshops everyone is given the chance to work on a stitch sampler, before tackling a repair. Taking inspiration from traditional techniques, such as Japanese sashiko and Indian kantha, tears are backed from the underside with a patch of cloth; then small rows of stabbing stitches form a rectangle of closely stacked rows of stitchwork, securing the tear and reinforcing the surrounding cloth, creating a pleasing mend that can be either visible or invisible, depending on the colour match.