six am & bright outside, as we approach midsummer. It is beautiful, yes. There are birds, yes. I will garden this morning, yes. But not now, damnit.
I am distracted by a nagging, irritating thorn that will burrow in deeper unless I pluck it out. Immediately.
As of this past Thursday when my job was declared redundant, I have only two days of work left at my work.
This is fine, though a little shocking because of the supremely awkward way the change was presented, & highly inconvenient, because now I need to find an entirely new job after 19 months of devotion to what is now ‘redundant’ (quite often well beyond the call of duty).
Alright – there’s a good part of me that towers with rage. This part of me could happily blast a hole in the heads of certain people with my mind, since I know they are a blight on humanity and should be removed, for all our sakes. But I will not do this arrogant thing.
I had felt this coming in my bones, months ago. I do understand what led to the decision, which is not personal, by any stretch, no matter how much my rage would have it so. For these reasons I find it fairly easy to safely contain my anger with well-crafted humour when writing or speaking to people who just need to get through their day. But there’s this thorn.
Since I received the news, it’s been a week of furied work as I prepare for the new person in the new position, and say goodbye to my colleagues (whom I truly love). Down-time has been largely numb and stupid, with a bit of giddy bewilderment thrown in. Fun, but not really pro-active. I do need to move on.
Finally, this morning, like an old root that had it’s trunk cut but feels the sun nevertheless, I reach to poetry, and begin to grow again.
I need Ted Hughes.
Crow:: From the Life and Songs of Crow (London: Faber & Faber, 1970) is a book of poems that always grinds me back into (marvelously black) humour and honest self-deprecation, a brilliant knife-point that lances the illusion-bubble of human glory to reveal our marvelously arrogant, powerful insignificance. Buy the book. Then buy more of his books and read them all.
This is my thorn-removing therapy: a great, long bath in sandpapered language. I’m guaranteed to emerge raw and renewed.
When Crow was white he decided the sun was too white.
He decided it glared much too whitely.
He decided to attack it and defeat it.
He got his strength flush and in full glitter.
He clawed and fluffed his rage up.
He aimed his beak direct at the sun’s centre.
He laughed himself to the centre of himself
At his battle cry trees grew suddenly old,
But the sun brightened-
It brightened, and Crow returned charred black.
He opened his mouth but what came out was charred black.
“Up there,” he managed,
“Where white is black and black is white, I won.”
I maybe don’t need to explain how this is appropriate.
Now having bathed in Crow and removed the thorn, I can now (croakingly) wish good health and enduring, positive, visionary energy to The Festival of Northern Lights Inc. Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers. May you light up our darkest moments with imagination.