Friday 3 August 2007

Going to town

I started the day, as I generally do, with poetry and tea. I tend to read until a poem tempts me to read it out loud, or makes me read it again and again. Once fortified by a good one I can get out of bed. There is no better way to wake up. At the moment I am besotted by Mary Oliver, and this morning found her poem 'Going to Walden', which is actually about not going to Walden, Henry Thoreau's retreat, because what the place signifies is 'the slow and difficult trick of living, and finding it where you are'.

This afternoon I went to town. An eighty mile round trip and all afternoon to buy one ball of green wool and a stripey jumper from the charity shop, which I will unravel for my latest creative project (code-name 'Dreamcoat'). Before the bus home I had time to squeeze in a quick visit to the outlying branch of the Scottish Poetry Library. No Mary Oliver, but Wang Wei and Sorley Maclean will keep me going for the next few mornings.

Back in my own Walden, armed with wool and words, I am determined not to go anywhere for at least a week. I'll cook home-grown beans for supper tonight and fall asleep to the sounds of the loch and the rain. Thoreau was right. Mary Oliver even more so.

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