Blackberry moon

I’ve been trying to take things a little slower lately. Maybe it’s the shortening days, maybe it’s a hangover from lockdown when life slowed almost to a standstill and I was actually able to notice the small things for the first time in ages. As I write this, there’s a wasp crawling up the pane of the patio door. It does this busily, zithering about (zithering, if I remember rightly, is a word I picked up from Jacob Polley’s Jackself – he uses it to describe greyhounds I think, but it suits wasps equally well). Of course, the wasp is trying to find an exit, in order to survive. Everything it needs is out there, beyond the glass, easy to see, hard to reach. If the wasp slowed down a bit, it might realise how close it is to freedom. As it is, it continues to buzz frantically, getting nowhere. Eventually it will burn out and drop to the floor exhausted.
Okay, I’m not the wasp. Not exactly. But I know that feeling of trying too hard to get to something that seems close, tangible, achievable, having to work like fury to get there. Poems that come out of that state of mind generally don’t please me, and neither does the process of creating them. I’m not saying that I now intend to sit about and do nothing in the hope that poems arrive unbidden. Most likely they won’t. But I have promised myself I won’t be so anxious about ‘doing’ things and overloading myself. Hence the photograph above. We spent Sunday picking blackberries to make some wine. I had a hundred other things I needed to do but I gave myself over to picking this humble fruit. It was slow work, but the sun was out and the fruit was ripe and I felt like I was doing something important. The blog didn’t get done on Sunday because of this. It didn’t get done yesterday because I had a heavy day at work. I’m writing it today because I feel like it. This is as it should be.
I’ve had a haiku published in Heron’s Nest this month. When it was accepted, I was incredibly excited, so much so that I sent a rush of other stuff out almost immediately. On reflection, those poems weren’t very good. I was being that wasp. I was zithering.
So, this blog might become more sporadic over the next few months, but hopefully it will be the better for it. I’m giving myself space to breathe, to create freely.
The wine won’t be ready until late next year, and it will taste even better if we leave it another year or two after that. It’s a case of being patient, of enjoying the wait …

2 thoughts on “Blackberry moon

  1. “The wine won’t be ready until late next year, and it will taste even better if we leave it another year or two after that.” Thanks for reminding me why I stopped making wine and just focused on brewing beer!


    • Ah well … we try to get in front of ourselves, so the wait is endurable because we have other bottles ready. However, from time to time we run low, which is to say we either run completely dry or, as we get near the end of a batch, panic and go into overdrive to make some more. The blackberries have been late ripening this year, but are plentiful and really sweet at the moment, so we’re trying to get ahead. Somewhere in all this is a metaphor for life!
      Julie X


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