Closer to heaven

Friday December 10, 2004

I was up well before the lark pulled its head from beneath its wing this morning. Stood looking out of the study window as the light crept up into the sky, just as I have done most days recently. I seem to be seeking to get as much light from the days as possible as they grow shorter and shorter.

Normally I go on to sit at my desk, looking out now and then to watch the sun creep over the horizon. I tap away at the work in hand, the time slips past, the remainder of the household wakes, one by one, and the light brightens to the point where I can no longer see my screen properly in the glare of the sun. That’s when I stop work for the morning, stretch, ablute, take my breakfast and see what alternative entertainment the days has to offer.

Not this morning, though. I flaked out long before that, and announced my need to go back for a top-up nap.

“Yeah, why don’t you do that. Then you’ll be all fit and bouncy for another trip to Boston at lunch-time.”

“Don’t think there’s much bounce in me today.”

“You wait and see.”

I didn’t wait and see, of course. I dozed, woke, drank coffee and then I saw. And, sure enough, my bounce had returned.

So off we went to Boston for a second bash at the Christmas shopping, and to post overseas greetings cards on the last day for guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery. We had a break in Costa Coffee, where I sipped a double espresso and munched on a strange, twisted pastry, sprinkled with soft chocolate and filled with chocolate-stuffed crème pâtisserie. It looked revolting, like something the cat might throw up on a particularly, perversely creative morning, but it tasted delicious, close to something served from heaven.

“You enjoyed that, didn’t you?” Graham remarked as I wiped the last crumb from my moustache.

“I sure did. Only one problem with it.”

“Oh. What’s that, then?”

“It seems to have made my coffee disappear without trace.”

“Ah. Does that mean you want another one?”



Boston, Dec,'04
More Christmas shopping
pencam photo


As if in a spirit of reassurance, to inform me that my mind still works on more than one level and is capable of thinking about more than decent coffee and indecent pastries, I had a poem-blip along with first light. It bubbled away quietly all day and then popped out, almost without effort, late this evening:


First sightings
As the sky prismed into light
a hidden vehicle drove, right to left,
along the tree lined lane beyond the field.
All I could see was the brilliant glare
preceeding it, contained in a moving basket
of clutching twigs and branches.
Then, it was gone. A sliver of moon
and one bright planet sparked above the trees.
Two magpies, silent, flew in for breakfast.
John Bailey
December 2004, Lincolnshire



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