Friday, June 02, 2006

I don't know if it's the weather, my age or just a process I'm going through, but I'm turning down more than I'm accepting at the moment and just relishing being on my own. Even small things seem too much pressure and I've had all the challenges I can handle for the moment. Nothing makes me happier than an hour writing or reading, or best of all, digging on my allotment. The other day I even walked by a celebrity without noticing her because I was so interested in what my friend was telling me about the asparagus she's got growing in her garden - this is me, prime celebrity spotter! And although I do love London, I realise I'm putting off going there because it tires me out so much, and it's the opposite of that Samuel Johnson quote: 'When a man is tired of London, he's tired of life' in that I seem to be engaging with the smallest things in my life much more. I'm sure normal hectic service will be resumed soon, but in the meantime this poem by Thomas Hardy seemed appropriate!
A Private Man on Public Men
by Thomas Hardy

When my contemporaries were driving
Their coach through Life with strain and striving,
And raking riches into heaps,
And ably pleading in the Courts
With smart rejoinders and retorts,
Or where the Senate nightly keeps
Its vigils, till their fames were fanned
By rumour's tongue throughout the land,
I lived in quiet, screened, unknown,
Pondering upon some stick or stone,
Or news of some rare book or bird
Latterly bought, or seen, or heard,
Not wishing ever to set eyes on
The surging crowd beyond the horizon,
Tasting years of moderate gladness
Mellowed by sundry days of sadness,
Shut from the noise of the world without,
Hearing but dimly its rush and rout,
Unenvying those amid its roar,
Little endowed, not wanting more.

7 comments:

abhay k said...

Hi Sarah,
i loved reading this poem..its very deep and such zeal for living life quietly and fully comes after a stage in life when we are enlightened...understanding well the ephemerity of everything in nature..just to live life very deeply, very consciously...

..I got tired of London in just one visit.

Clare said...

I love London - maybe because I live too far away to be able to visit it that often - but I loved it when I lived there too.

Ignoring celebrities is good, I think - especially these days when so many of them seem to have nothing worth celebrating.

And know exactly what you mean about asparagus being more interesting - it is more important too.

chiefbiscuit said...

I say you are one of the wise ones! Keep being wise and give yourself this time. Looking forward to hearing about what you have learned tho'when you surface again!

Patry Francis said...

Sounds like a healthy trend to me. THanks for the lovely poem.

JAN said...

Hello Sarah
I often read your blog via another one and hope you're writing your usual fascinating stuff again soon. I lived in London in my twenties and loved it. I even dragged my very own Londoner back to Chester, married him and been here ever since.Still love London though. My son there so visit often. Was by the river in Greenwich last December, one of those afternoons when sky turns purple/pink; the skyline fabulois too. And there are hot yellow days in the city, the buzz of it all. BUT having said that, I've lived 200 miles away now for many yrs so it's a treat to go. Looking forward to your writing appearing soon.

paris parfait said...

The poem is so appropriate to what you were saying about the hub of activity in London vs. quieter places. I love London - it's one of my favourite cities in the world and I'm there at least once a month. But to live there full time (which I did for a while) is exhausting and I understand what you mean. A balance is needed!

Sarah said...

Thanks for all these - I didn't mean to temporarily leave my blog with such a farewell letter but it ended up being quite appropriate! And everyone keeps telling me about London's green places which now I'm going to explore, so I get the best of both worlds. Yes, Clare, to ignoring celebrities but I guess it depends what they're famous for. Rebecca Loos, who? But someone like David Hare, I might just faint.