Sunday, August 30, 2009

Motes, nature and a good week for stepfathers

Another full day today, but here's this morning's meditation:

Meditation 211

The picture
in your mind

is only blood
and emptiness.

You plan and legislate
for what

cannot be held
in the hand

or snatched
from the air

as it passes.

For most of the day, Lord H and I have been wandering around Ightham Mote in Kent, which is a totally wonderful Medieval moated manor house. Bliss. It's the first time we've been too, so shame on us for not visiting it sooner. We'll definitely be back. It's got so many fantastic higgledy-piggledy rooms and a library layout to die for. The walks round about were pretty damn good too. As was the lunch - special mention has to be made of the banana and toffee meringue which reduced Lord H and myself to a totally worshipful silence. Mmm ...

Not content with all that, we also popped into Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve on the trail of the black-necked grebe. Sadly we didn't actually spot said grebe, but it's got some good hides so we'll be back when the birds are more in abundance. Or at least more obvious.

Tonight, I am gearing myself up for the joys of Part One of the new adaptation of Wuthering Heights on TV. The scriptwriter is the sainted Peter Bowker, a Man Who Can Do No Wrong - he was responsible for the script of Desperate Romantics and the glorious Blackpool, so it'll definitely be worth watching, I'm sure.

However, I can't really let this week go without saying how utterly horrified I've been at the terrible abduction and imprisonment of poor Jaycee Lee Dugard from the ages of 11 until 29 years. I've been so horrified by it all and what she and her two children must have suffered that when I come to try to pray, I can't find any meaningful words and all I can do is cry. God preserve us, maybe that's enough. The only good thing that I can say about it all, speaking with my stepdaughter hat on, is that it's lovely to see that stepfathers aren't necessarily the potentially evil monsters they're often depicted as being these days. Sometimes they can be good things too - and I'm sorry the last 18 years of veiled accusations have cost Jaycee's stepfather his marriage, but it must be a relief for him to be so totally exonerated today. I like to think that if I'd ever been snatched from the street by an individual intent on evil (as my grandmother used to say), my own stepfather Jim would also have got on his bike, or more likely into one of his beloved tractors, and attempted to give chase, no matter how hopeless the outcome. Anyway, a tragic, long and horrific episode for all the Dugard family, and let's hope recovery is as whole as it can be for them. What I really fear is how many other Jaycees are out there, waiting to be discovered. Or not ...

Here are this week's haikus (two today, as one popped into my head this afternoon):

In my scented bath
a cloud of stories floats by.

In green-golden woods
dapple my skin with sunlight,
meld me to the earth.

Today's nice things:

1. Poetry
2. Ightham Mote
3. TV
4. Stepfathers
5. Haikus.

Anne Brooke: in medieval mode
Maloney's Law: for the children who remain


Jilly said...

The kidnapping is absolutely horrific and I hate the way when someone disappears like that they always blame the stepfather. I know statistically the reasoning works but people should be prepared to look at the individuals concerned before passing judgement. I really feel sorry for Jaycee's two children - how are they going to cope in the future?

Anne Brooke said...

I know - I really can't imagine. But there's always hope and I do think children especially are far more resilient than we think.