If you go down to the sea today
You will see a fine lady
In a caff by the window
Eating toast drinking tea
Please dont think that she may
Not or even that you maybe
Be sure to smile
To give her a
As she sits there
(Poem: Ian Nisbet. Drawing: Hazel Brown)
Hazel wrote: I felt that if I wrote the poem on a piece of paper, which I did, and put in my pocket, then something of you would be there ……. does this make any sense? ……
It did to me and proved to be one of the best walks, with the inevitable… tea and toast …. sitting outside a cafe… high above the cliffs …. gazing out to sea …. the weather was amazing, incredibly warm …….. birds singing …. butterflies, ladybirds … wasps ….. every kind of creature had zipped back out of hibernation
And so this morning…
I was… sipping sea…and buttering breezes … exactly as you had predicted……
The dreams you have
I have to give
I bear them to you
From me born
Gifts of your joy
I’d like to give
Sown from my heart
To steal and share
What your gift gives
Is what I’d give
If you awoken would allow
I’d like to give you happiness
The cat that seldom comes when called.
Ian writes: That poem wasn’t “there” to begin with. I hadn’t set out to write it. But it emerged out of the mass of material that surrounded it, and I kept chipping and carving all the extra and the extraneous away to get to the essence at the heart of it….
The I and the You are interchangeable. “You” could be You (Hazel). And You could be “I” (Ian) And vice versa.
That might not be the final version. I might change “steal”. But I did feel like I’d stolen your images from you making those vids.
I didn’t want to send it to you. Because it feels mushy.
That quote about “gifts” you sent me Haze?… right at the beginning …. was never more apposite… never more true…. or exactly what I needed to hear..
I’m still trying to work out and find what it is I have to give…. if anything…
But I know you’ve been helping me look….
Hazel wrote: We’re both …… giving and sharing ….. having fun …. laughing alot …… amazingly- like-minded ……… so..please …. keep doing what you’re doing ……even if it’s piles of poo… as you call it …… well, you know what they say …… about finding…. treasure….or diamonds in it …..
I will still carry on … describing my walks by the sea …..having tea on the harbour …..and ….. dragging you with me …..if… only in spirit …… to share it all with you
Again I’m saying………YOU have a wonderful gift…..believe me…I can hear it …and see it………and feel it in my heart.
I heard a Buddhist monk giving a talk about this Rilke poem once (writes Ian).
Its a short poem, only 11 lines, but he managed to distil dharmic essence out of every line.
Its one of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus but I know it as ‘All Things Already Rest’.
There are various translations of it but this is the one I’m familiar with (by Stephen Mitchell)
We are the driven ones
Ah, but the step of time
Think of it as a dream in what always remains
All that is hurrying on will soon be over with
Only what lasts can bring us to the truth
Young man, do not put your trust
into the trials of flight
into the hot and the quick
All things already rest
Darkness and morning light
Flower and book
I’ve changed one word: ‘driving’ to driven to mean something like we are all being driven by circumstances beyond our control, compelled by hidden forces beyond our conscious and rational reach.
We think we are driving our lifes. Driving them on and on, propelling them forever forward.. But are we? Really?
Because all things already rest. Are already given. In every single moment. That is Here. That is Now.
I’m becoming a bit of a moon-maniac (writes Ian).
This is the 3rd successive month of moons I’ve filmed and marveled at (through kitchen window)
This moon wasn’t as intimate as last months supermoon (the one with all the ghosty cloud-faces) High-rising clouds made it appear as it were fast falling, racing to get its job done (and pack in early for the night) being pulled to, rather than pulling from, the earth.
(Video; Ian Nisbet)
So that’s my Moon Trilogy.
Think I’ve probably exhausted mooning from the kitchen window.
Possible future moons?
A midnight moonlake (on Dartmoor)?
A moon tinkling into the river Dart?
Or a moon casting spells into a shimmery silent sea?
I don’t know. Maybe I should just leave these lovely other moons to romancers.