Friday 22 May 2020


Sometimes we hear the train, Dad and I, as we perambulate the length of the garden. Sometimes we  hear only wind. I see the tops of trees, ours, but not ours; they could be found anywhere, in any other clearing.

May is rounding out her month and soon June will be sent our way. Is your honeysuckle out? We have the scent of Syringha, planted for Shelagh...

I woke up this morning with a burning left eye, and now even after the sun has set, the rice is on the stove, and the song thrush is harmonising her final duets, I have the look of a badger about me.

Delftia some weeks ago, and now Klebsiella - ought I to take comfort in the strange fact that even my colonisations of bacteria have poetic names? My immunology nurse mentioned the word ‘strange’ over and over again. ‘These are strange times,’ she said. Strange, strange, strange.

My heart does funny loops and a bell is tolling like an echo in some distant yet ever near place. Do you hear this bell too? The Great Bell in Buddhism is a reminder to return to ourselves. This quieter bell seems more sinister, pulling us away from ourselves. To where?

I am reading Laurens Jan van der Post on his friend Jung. My dearest Colette sent me her copy of ‘Jung and the Story of our Time’. I feel I have already loosened the binding of this 1976 Penguin edition as I carry the book around with me, and move forward, and return to passages, and read aloud to Dad. ‘Hopkins! Schweitzer! Meister Eckehart!’ He hails these old friends as they are mentioned. Reading of the great ‘thuses of life’, what the fourteenth century Dominican mystic Meister Eckehart called istigkeit, the ‘isness’ of time and place, what Buddha called tathagata or ‘suchness’ - I am glad of mystery and the uncomfortable comfort of consciousness.

What are you reading now? And does it bring you comfort?


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Ah, you are reading above my pay grade, my friend. LOL. I love that you and your dad are enjoying the journey, around your garden and through literature. I am sadly adrift, with the librries closed, forced to read some rather inferior things on my kindle. The other problem is, I fall asleep reading, and the tablet falling on my nose hurts more than a book...........I was happy to see Amy Tan on your sidebar - it reminded me to get my copy off the shelf and lay it on my bed for tonight. YAY! I have not read anything earth-shaking in too long. Well, one book, This Accident of Being Lost, written by northern indigenous writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, addressed Canadian racism very powerfully. There is a BEAUTIFUL youtube video of her reading a poem about her small daughter while the daughter dances that is very moving. I featured it on PU back in the day. The child had had her first experience of racism at age six. Sigh.

Stay well, my friend. I hope your badger eye eases up.

Suramya Kumararatne said...

Shaista, the honeysuckle is indeed out, though I was not close to the creeper , to get a waft of perfume. The rampant creeper has self seeded thanks to a little bird no doubt. I remember the day I first smelled honey suckle. I was living in Glasgow, as only a hospital there thought this doctor who qualified in a far away land, might with best wishes, worth employing. We had little money as I had just finished being a PhD student on a scholarship and Helen , was self funding a librarianship course, as a degree in Medieval German , was not interesting to employers.
We decided with local advice ,to go an a walking holiday in the west of Scotland starting from Fort William. So on a byway in Scotland, there was a honeyed perfume and Helen, introduced me to my first honeysuckle.
On Friday, I was peering at a plant I had carelessly stuck in the ground (as I am wont do) when an ethereal perfume wafted past me. I did not know whence it came and sniffed at the Wisteria in bloom and a Montana , but no. I the noticed that the Philadelphus (Mock Orange) was in bloom.
What is the Clematis , peeping through your Rose bush?
I hope you have many adventures with the smell of summer awakening.

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