MOVING OUT AND MOVING ON
Moving out and moving on, such is the plan;
we agreed a date in late July –
good for the buyers with half a summer still
to enjoy GB at its best, from breathless arrival,
through the finery of one whole, golden autumn
before hunkering-down deep into winter
and out again when survival allows.
I have, while here for thirty years, learned that
time may be measured by church bells or
conch shells, or any idea or dance, which
any living or lifeless thing employed or
enjoyed by any of such where strict coordinates
do not mark the spot and are not designed for
enlightenment, love or joy. To recall and search for
further murmurings of would-be lovers’ lips
following the first magnetic draw of one slave
on another, is no linear deployment of a
mix of entangled enigmas with teasing tastes –
parts of us that will give their all for a moment,
then, if unused, fade slowly away.
And I have considered whether
the mist that forms each day and
wraps itself as lace around us to make
and marvel at our own essential mystery
can or should strive to compartmentalise
the do’s from the don’ts, to work up lists
of ingredients of us both. All to what end?
Neither would convey more than the name on
a label, on a tablecloth, on a pretty print dress.
The kiss (itself a lovely, lively promoter
of random nomenclature) must, and
maybe more than once, travel far to find
recognised currencies of thought and deed
just to embark on a voyage that might some day
disinter true treasuries of language, to be
set aside for the common good; and so enable
each Theseus of our time to describe the sirens’ song;
or for you or I and all our whelps (each washed
at birth in kisses) to restore to former glory
scores of ancient rhymes and stories now disused
through use of disfigured and misleading meanings.
You and I are, conventionally, at the same end
of a range from which commentators assert
an age for each and, by reference to this flimsy link,
catalogue, classify and value so much of our daytime
participation in the natural world, thereby saving
time saying little about the individual. Our young have
tumbled to this quickly, seeing no innate worth
in the number and saying so; and in return we
pass to our young the odd nugget of experience
when starting, for instance, to slide the wrong way
on a pole that hasn’t yet been manufactured.
But the flow goes downwards and it’s best to let go.
For those relinquishing the field to the young,
it is a time for celebration; they can move on,
on their terms, on their own planes, astride
superannuated Castilian warhorse or Aston DB5,
tilting at windmills or wooing with wing mirrors.
And what stories await! No time plane now to
weigh us down; it will take as long as it takes so
throw the hourglass away and sit quietly by
the church listening to conch shells, waiting
only for the bells to chime and clear the air.
And if there be any tiny sliver of
unclaimed time which floats past such as, say,
after a good meal, could we learn to
move on by inviting it in to share a digestif or by
writing a few words about what lies ahead, what it is
and what it could be said to be? Any number or nature of
words will fit the exercise, for words written now
will inform, imperceptibly but inevitably, every little deed
and every tiny thought. And while we moved out,
courtesy clear influences and motors well understood,
it needs our attention each day to set a goal,
before the horizon, to move on and be content with
the hows, whens and whys and so make sense of
part of our residual rich existences.