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(i carry it in my heart)

I’m rather a fan of a cliché – I always feel that for something to become one it has to be embraced by many and that probably means it has some sense stitched into it’s lining. One such chestnut is that ‘home is where the heart is’. Most would not argue with this. But I would argue that home is IN the heart.

I’ve inferred before that I have moved often and it is true that the moving is not over yet. At the moment I am in the USA and I am far from my mother and from my daughters. Before coming here for this year, I was mostly separate from my husband. And from my mother and from my daughters. This year I have him, not them. When I am in Britain I have them, not him. My father is dead. So he is not any of my here’s at all.

But since they are all carried safely in my heart, I can be home wherever I am and I have learned the trick.

This shot was taken a stones throw from the place I’ve been nesting in Massachusetts – it’s a local path that The Bean and I walk often with or without HB2. It’s a place I sat with my youngest daughter just a few short weeks ago when she came to visit in the high humming heat of Summer’s end and now as Fall falls into place in this place in New England and I am favoured with an understanding of what all the fuss is about, the colours are emerging in the most brazen fashion and stalking my breath and stealing it away effortlessly whichever way I turn. My father loved trees and would have loved to be able to just wander around New England filling his heart with the wonder of Mother Nature’s audacious exhibition. So from his home in my heart, I watch this glorious Autumn unfold and I remind myself just how fortunate I am. To have this perfect vision on my doorstep and to have him in my heart.

I offer the picture in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge titled Local – here is the gallery of all the other captivating captures

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PS: If you look closely at the foot of the red-hot tree you will see a pile of sticks. Or not. It’s a beaver lodge – home to a colony of beavers that I have been delighted to spot from time to time busying about their industrious beaver life, whilst I live in their locale.

And for all those I carry in my heart, but particularly for my husband – here is the poem from which I plucked the title of this piece. It’s a little luxury for me to be local to the place where e e cummings was born for I have loved him for as long as I can remember …. ‘beautiful you are my world’

i carry your heart

e e cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

Meditation and water

I have twice delved into the murky or magical, depending on result, waters of internet dating.  So successful was I that, for several weeks I was ‘Times Encounters’ most popular woman.  I tell you this not to brag (though, let’s face facts it is entirely braggable) but because I remember clearly stating in my profile that I loved water.  The ocean, lakes, rivers and streams, I am happiest when near them or in clear sight at least.  Puddles possibly not so much though jumping in them has it’s own delight with the strong caveat of the correct footwear.  I would challenge anyone to enjoy a long walk home in squelchy shoes with soggy socks on a dank chill day.  Correct me if I’m wrong, I dare you.

In my last post I told those who cared to work it out from the clue I gave that I was bought up by the river Thames in Berkshire  and it is fair to say that most of my life has been lived by the Old Father.  So maybe that is the explanation.  Or maybe it is hardwired into my DNA.  I come from a long line of Naval servers.  My Grandfather, for example,  was a giddyingly senior Admiral – as a young Lieutenant aged younger than my second daughter is now,  he was aboard HMS Chester at the Battle of Jutland, the last face to face naval battle in history before the equipment got so clever that these days you don’t really  need to be in the same water to score a direct hit if you feel so inclined.    He remembered dinner immediately after the battle when the blood that had soaked the decks was barely washed away, the Stewards brought in tureens of tomato soup.  Even the Captain declined.

Whatever the reason, I find that being near water rests my spirit and enables clear thinking and so I was delighted recently to go to Gloucester MA, made famous by ‘The Perfect Storm’ and step onto a safe ship in glassy calm waters to go whale watching with HB2 and youngest daughter.  Whales are guaranteed because of the location, a marine natural reserve 12 miles offshore.  If you don’t see any they invite you back again until you do.   You are, however,  reminded that these are wild animals, not  a circus show and that what you  see depends on many factors, not least how diva-ish the whales may be feeling on the day.  It turned out that the Whales were in positively symbiotic spirits for reasons we shall never fathom because we don’t speak Whale.  They advertised virtually all their major surface behaviors – they breached, they blew spouts, they lay in a trance-like state on the surface, they flapped their fins and they dived showing off their immense barnacle bejewelled tails to glorious effect.   It was an astonishing show which might have been choreographed by Busby Berkeley himself.    The company we went out with educate as well as facilitate sitings so we learned much along the way about these wonderful and historically maligned creatures.  You can find out more by going to their blog right here and if you ever get the chance, grab it.  It is a truly unforgettable experience.

We have SO many photographs from the outing but this is my perfect picture, or more accurately Two Brains’ since, peglegged as I have been of late, I couldn’t balance self and camera securely enough as the boat bobbed and curtsied, to take a decent picture.  I submit it here as my entry in this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge titled H2O (which I misread initially and thought it was a tribute to The Brains).  Here are the rest of the wonderful entries for your delectation, should you feel inclined.

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PS:  Last night, we had dinner with two of HB2’s team .  They work in his lab two days a week.  They are rising 89 and 91 and the older of the two served in the US Navy.  He can’t swim.

My quote, as you might expect, is from ‘Moby Dick’.  In Chapter One our narrator, Ishmael remarks to us ‘Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded together’.  I have never faulted him that assertion.

One day I will find the right words

My friend Terry at Spearfruit nominated me for a MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award.  Terry has become a real friend even though we have never met.  His blog is about his life which has seen some tremendous struggles.  Terry beats  himself up for not always being bright and sunny and grateful and positive.  Terry denies that he is an inspiration.  Terry lives in an RV in a trailer park in Florida – he was meant to be travelling the country with his husband and their dog Roxy.  But Terry has Cancer so instead they are static whilst he undergoes the rigours of Chemotherapy treatment still with the threat of the most major and invasive surgery hanging over his head.  I encourage you to visit his blog and I think you too will be inspired (even if he thinks you won’t, because I am always right)  by this engaging and sweet man who thinks that he isn’t good enough.  He’s good enough for me – and one day we will meet and we will talk nonsense and eat cupcakes and ice-cream and for this reason Terry has to get well.

The MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers for quality content, originality and presentation. The intention of this award is to encourage connectivity and support in the blogging community and to increase exposure for individual bloggers.

The Rules:

If you have been nominated for the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and choose to accept it, write a blog post about the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award in which you:

– Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog. Take a moment to positively promote the person who nominated you.

– Display the award on your blog by adding it to your post and/or displaying it using a widget on your page (Save the image to your computer and upload it to your blog post). Don’t forget to use the tag #MyUltraAward when you make your post!

– Answer the following MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award questions and then nominate 1-8 blogs that you feel deserve the award and provide links.

  1. What is your name:  The name I use for blogging is Osyth which is actually my middle name.  It is my mother’s middle name and that of my eldest daughter.  We pronounce it with a long O as in Oath rather than a short O as in Odd.  It is not my nom de plume though I have published one book in France under it.  I prefer people not to use my actual Christian name when commenting, even if they know what it is.  I’m intrinsically a very private person, despite appearances and I prefer not to reveal my all and ooh-la-la on the net.  You can just call me weird – I’ll answer!
  2. Where are you from:  I was born in England and was raised in the village that Kenneth Grahame of ‘The Wind in The Willows’ lived and I can report that Toad Hall really does exist though disappointingly, I have never managed to find Ratty at home nor out boatin’  when walking the riverbank there.  Most of my adult life was lived in and around Oxford with a few years in London and an 18 month stint in Rome before I had my family with whom I became a reluctant nomad moving almost every year and seldom by choice.  Three years ago I moved to Cantal a sparcely populated area of Southern France and it is the place I call home because it speaks to my heart and it feels like I think home is supposed to feel.  However, this year has mostly seen me in Massachusetts and if things go according to plan I will be returning to New England next year and making a nuisance of myself for a further year or two.
  3. What are you most proud of:   Of course I am proud of my daughters (four and all beautiful and hard-working which given the aforementioned unsettled gypsy life they led in childhood is remarkable) and my husband (with both his brains) and my dog (tiny, feisty and stupidly cute or cutely stupid depending on the mood of the writer) and all the usual things but mostly I think I am kind and decent which seems a simple enough thing, commonplace even, except that I rather think it is becoming a rarity in this modern world of ours and so I am perfectly satisfied to still be that unselfish person and I wouldn’t want to change even though it can leave me depressed and deflated by the actions of others.
  4. How long have you been blogging and why did you first start: I started the blog on a whim just after I moved to  France so about three years ago, and it has evolved in a wholely organic way and probably reflects me fairly well by which I don’t mean that I am a pesticide-free plant or a seaweed-fed sheep but that there is no particular form or discipline to it.  It’s not a cookery or an art or a photography blog and it’s not a diary nor a retrospective of my life, it is not designed to teach anything nor to sell a product or service, it is simply a place that I can share some of the stories that rattle round like marbles in my empty head.  I’m rather proud of the little following I have achieved  but am perpetually anxious that I let people down with my inability to blog to a pattern.
  5. What are your blogging goals:  I honestly don’t have any.  I didn’t expect anything from it and I still don’t.  Which means, with no expectation, everything about it remains a joy.
  6. How do you spend your free time:  I love being outside.  My joy is hiking and I do run (though crimson-faced struggle is a more accurate description) but I had an accident 3½ months ago which has left me unable to do either and extremely tough to live with.  I have a small house in France bought as a maison secondaire which we are doing up slowly, carefully and often frustratingly and I am also doing up our house in Massachusetts which is proving even more frustrating.  I read, of course – anything and all things.  I cook.  And I dream.  Mostly I dream ….

In terms of nominees for the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award, I am going to follow Terry who in turn followed the lead of Chatty Kerry who nominated him (she’s pretty wonderful too, by the way) and I’m going to pick just one perfect fruit.  It’s difficult, I have so many that I love but today I’m picking Susan at Our French Oasis because her blog is beautiful, because she writes of  life in France in such a lovely, beguiling and evocative way and illustrates with beauteous photographs and mostly because  she has a heart that seems similar to mine and this is after all about me, me, ME!

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PS:  Because there must always be a PS – the title I have chosen is a line from Jack Keroauc who was born in Massachusetts.  It comes from ‘The Dharma Bums’ and has always haunted me ‘one day I will find the right words and they will be simple’.  When I can achieve that, then I will deserve an award.