Tag Archives: gathering

… among anxieties, a few duende events …

Beginning of June, I had a first visit from my son after nine months not seeing him in person due to the corona lock down, though he lives only an hour away in London. Of late, he is also consumed by the costly bureaucratic process of sorting his late father’s estate in Holland. Over the two days of his presence, his pragmatic, hands-on approach accomplished many tasks in house and garden that were beginning to overwhelm me. Working together in perfect flow and harmony, the accumulated weight on my shoulders vanished as if by magic.

The weekend after, I enjoyed a first small gathering of friends in my garden since two years. By luck, it happened to be on one of those rare warm evenings when it was possible to sit comfortably outside until midnight, among lanterns and candlelight. We relaxed into long-missed story times, and the evening was altogether bliss.

Earlier in June, I experienced many sleepless nights, since I was suddenly urged to apply for the UK settlement scheme, or lose all rights, despite the fact that I had leave to remain here indefinitely since the 1980s, in fact, been living, working and studying here for many decades. I needed support from the citizen advice bureau, since I’m irrationally scared of online forms, and the process was indeed complex (I feel deep gratitude for the volunteers at the CAB.)

I only have a simple emergency mobile, but nowadays it is assumed that everyone owns the newest gadgets and is a techno whiz kid. Anyway, it seems my application was successful. We’ll see if border guards let me back into the UK after a trip abroad in times to come, in whatever future that might happen. I do miss seeing my friends in Europe.

The next challenges lie ahead. For the first time in years my car has not passed the MOT (annual motor test) and will need expensive repairs. Dentist work ahead, computer is due for a clean-up, and I need to safe money for the annual hedge trimming that requires wielding machines on high ladders. While I work hard on clearing and grass cutting, enjoying the physical activity, I’ve decided, wisely, not doing heavy machines on high ladders anymore.
But heck, the peonies have survived the rain so far and the blues are coming. I dare hope more duende events are waiting, and wish them for my readers, too.

I wrote something about duende four years ago, with a link to Garcia Lorca’s wonderful article on duende. Goethe called it the mysterious force that everyone feels but no philosopher has explained.


Still struggling here with the new wordpress format, though I discovered the Toggle blog inserter under the + sign. Now I must find out how to wrap text around smaller images 🙂

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… debates at beech tree junction …

From my desk I see the crowns of a few massive beech trees on the hill beyond my garden. Come autumn, tons of leaves used to smother my mossy lawn until, thankfully, the branches were cut back last year. Wood pigeons value the majestic view across town from up there, as much as they like gobbling up my Stella cherries before I ever have the slightest chance of harvesting them. And yet, I like the pigeons’ cooing code by which they talk to each other in spring, and I find their peculiar waddling, neck-pushing walk in search of worms amusing. Presently the bare branches of the beeches show the pigeons’ constellation throughout the day, bringing on some thoughts … and a Haiku.

at beech tree junction

each morning the ruler lands

sometimes with a mate

later the pigeons gather

and debate migrants

they conclude – not our problem

skies are border-less

Re: migrants, given the human longing for belonging, it is the brave feat of ‘exits,’ people who leave their birth land for whatever reason, which expands tolerance, as well as emotional and intellectual independence from the collective pull towards loyalty for any one group or ideology.

Recently I came upon this quote by Italo Calvino, which resonates:

‘The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.’ – Italo Calvino               

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