and the speck of my heart.

Wednesday, May 27

We live by the sea. (Well, technically the River Clyde. But the sea sounds nicer.) The ever-changing view from our window, the seagulls, the sound of the waves hitting the rocks if you listen closely. The thought of moving into the city (something that seems inevitable in the next year or so) is mildly heart-breaking. Even though I have to leave at some point, I can’t imagine not living here. The city just seems so soulless in comparison.

That being said – living near the sea means being very far away from everything and everyone else. Or so it can seem at times. It means trains that only run once in a blue moon, and stop running much too early in the evening. It means an hour-long commute, both ways, to get into Glasgow and the office where I study. And it’s the same for my Mum, who works just outside of the city.

Three days of the week, I ride in the car with her most of the way there, and recently we’ve started a small morning reading practice: to welcome in the day, to wake ourselves up. It’s a long journey, but it passes quickly when we’re reading. Once we’ve been driving for a while and the stickiness of toothpaste-breath has worn off, I’ll pull out her well-worn book of Celtic Daily Prayers (‘open our eyes ... open our hearts’) and read a little aloud from there.

And then we’ll read a poem.

At the moment, we’re working our way through Mary Oliver’s collection ‘West Wind’ (a poetry collection that you should buy. As the Library Journal wrote on the back cover: ‘From the chaos of the world, [Oliver’s] poems distill what it means to be human and what is worthwhile about life’. If anyone ever writes something like that about my writing, I will kiss them. #youvebeenwarned)

Poetry is really something that needs to be read aloud. And shared. When I read it into myself, I tend to go too quickly and miss things. So it’s been lovely to read them with her. We go through the whole poem a few times to catch onto the rhythm, letting the words soak in before pausing over lines we like and talking about what the poem might mean, or what it reminds us of. I thought I’d share one with you – a prose poem – that I liked. Read it a few times. Whisper it aloud to hear the sound of it. Even if you don’t fully know what it means, just let the words be. Here it is: 


Read it again. Slower. And then pause, lingering over a line or a phrase or a word that stands out.

(What it makes me think of is the Sublime, that idea that was big among the Romantic poets. Shelly and Wordsworth and Keats and so on. That feeling that there's something more than the visible tangible touchable world. Something unknowable, both beautiful and terrifying. Something powerful and huge and dangerously close. Something inexplicable. Something that might be, maybe, God.)


  1. Your blog and your header are so beautiful <3

    1. Thanks so much! (Can't take full credit for the header - the photo is mine, but the profile 'frame' is from Afterlight. Amazing editing app, if you haven't heard of it!)



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