Monday, 25 July 2022

Vacillating ...

 

Vacillating seems an appropriate descriptive word for so many now … a return to what was - appears to be required, yet is unlikely (especially for us here in the UK) …



though I feel the world has changed so much – and that will be impossible for present inhabitants to settle back into our old way of life … change is on the cards – which is not going away.



A lifetime is ahead … in other words twenty-five or so years … before a settled life will happen – many will continue on, many will struggle, some will forge new ways for themselves and others …


Barnack Hills and Hole Reserve
(John Clare used to live near here)



We'll adapt and life will progress, regardlesss …




John Clare's poem “I am … ” written when he had been declared mentally ill, as he was 'full of many strange delusions'



while being held in an asylum – he was encouraged to continue writing … where he 'developed a very distinctive voice an unmistakable intensity and vibrance, such as the later pictures of Vincent Van Gogh'


John Clare (1793 - 1864)



Here is John Clare's poem …








I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;

My friends forsake me like a memory lost:

I am the self-consumer of my woes—

They rise and vanish in oblivious host,

Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes

And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed


Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,

Into the living sea of waking dreams,

Where there is neither sense of life or joys,

But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;

Even the dearest that I loved the best

Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.


I long for scenes where man hath never trod

A place where woman never smiled or wept

There to abide with my Creator, God,

And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,

Untroubling and untroubled where I lie

The grass below—above the vaulted sky.




Durer's Rhinocerus ( Woodcut 1515)

Clare's work evokes a life which many will seem to be living now … but life really does come around again … continue on with life, do what we can, move on … we cannot change the world order (regrettably!) - but we can be at peace with ourselves wherever we're at …




I just need to get off my pity bad back bandwagon and move along … thankfully it doesn't stick around for long … I'm blessed and very fortunate in that way …





Right – that's me over my lethargy … I'm getting on with life – and that back will improve …



Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

24 comments:

Inger said...

To be deeply troubled and in an asylum and still be able to write a poem like that. I wonder if it helped him. I believe the U.S. will have many troubles in the years to come. In another 25 yeears or so, we will be a minority majority country and I don't believe the white supremacists will go down without a fight. I hope it will all work out as it has here in California and in Los Angeles.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Change has always been a part of the past, future and present. I don't like change, but it has to be and MANY good things come from change. :)

I really like the poem although it did make me sad.

Teresa

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Ooh, you've selected one of my favourites (poet and of his poems)... and so many are trying to return to how things were before BC19 and discovering that it cannot properly be so. As you say, we keep plugging along... YAM xx

Elephant's Child said...

That is not a poet or a poem I knew. Very, very moving. Thank you.
I am rarely a fan of change, but have discovered that the ones I don't like will probably change again. And again.
I hope your back improves quickly.

John Holton said...

Prayers for your back, and let's hope we get back as close as we can...

Liz A. said...

Well, historically, pandemics (plagues) fundamentally change societies. I think we're in the throes of that change right now, and most of us don't like it one bit. I hope your back feels better soon. Pain has a way of making us cranky.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

First things first, Hilary. I hope your back is starting to behave. A bad back is no fun. The poem is moving indeed and is especially poignant given the circumstances of the poet at the time he composed the verse. As for change, I think it is in human nature to resist it, but given that change is a constant we really must learn to embrace it as best we can. Sometimes change is downright wonderful too. Gentle hugs from Ontario paying full heed to your bad back - David.

Sean Jeating said...

Profound thoughts, Hilary.
There is a fine blog dedicated to John Clare.
As for your back: Feel enjoying a magic virtual massage.

Hels said...

In the middle of a discussion yesterday, my husband responded to me with "you don't tolerate change very readily, do you?" But I agree with you. The world has changed so much that it is _impossible_ for present inhabitants to settle back into our old way of life. This is true for health care, socialising, employment, inflation, dangerous climate change, food shortages etc etc. I can't even understand my grandchildren's English any more :(

Denise Covey said...

Brilliant poem to share, Hilary. You're right. It will echo in many's thoughts today. Often a lonely time, a time for inward thoughts. There's a rugged road ahead most probably, but humans will endure.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Inger – I'm sure the fact he was encouraged to write and thus express his thoughts … he was also not confined … at least he could wander the grounds. I so agree re your thoughts and the world's troubles ahead …

@ Teresa – you're right, change is always happening … and we'll come through, one way or the other …

Yes – the poem is a thoughtful, and sad one …

@ Yam – John Clare, the poet, is not always to the fore is he … but he crafts his poetry so brilliantly – as here … even though it's sad … making us think …

@ EC – thank you … John Clare often comes into my mind, when I need something poignant to post …

I'm fine with change – but this 'overarching change' is a bit much – especially when autocratic leaders take advantage …

My back is not happy … but no doubt will ease …

@ John – thank you re my back … getting back to where we were is challenging – where were we?!

@ Liz – yes Liz … certainly plagues (pandemics) fundamentally change societies … if only it was people, not leaders latching on and changing the world …

I'm grateful the back is not painful, just doesn't at times work … so am not too cranky – just feeling the strain …

@ David – the poor back isn't too great – but I can walk, and move my top half … the middle back is another matter – now to address that: thanks for your thoughts …

The poem really made me think on life … and how 'life' (since 2019) has brought change to the world that has been difficult for us all to take on board, think and consider. I agree – I'm not against change and certainly enjoy the opportunity change offers.

@ Sean – good to see you … and thank you for that link across to the John Clare blog … that 'magic virtual massage' sounds an excellent idea.

@ Hels – how funny! I can understand … actually I don't mind change – but the world has changed so much, that the times ahead are not going to be as they were.

And – as you mention … I'm lost with a lot of the media, and particularly the alteration of the English language, or people's lack of desire to get it right …

@ Denise – good to see you and thank you re the post. I think my back really pushed me to write the post … feeling sorry for myself! I'd love to be able to write in the way he does …

As you say there's a rugged road ahead … and for some very rugged … but we will survive 'til we ruin the world we've created … which I feel will happen in many years ahead …

Thanks so much everyone for your interesting comments and thoughts at this transitioning time … my back is easing, I think is the simple way of stating its state! It'll take its time … but my fault – I must now look after it … take care all of you – cheers Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

His words are quite thought-provoking aren't they?
Hope your day is filled with much happiness and positive energy.
Cheers,

Janie Junebug said...

That's an excellent poem. Thank you for the introduction to a poet I haven't met before. Best wishes.

Love,
Janie

Damyanti Biswas said...

The Barnack Hills looks like a lovely place to have a quiet picnic with our favorite people :D

Joanne said...

Hope your back is no longer nagging you. That can just drain one's energy. Plus you've had the heat, etc. Been a tough summer on top of a tough spring, year, two years. I think we are all a bit a-jitter. I know my concentration is shot. And I still, when out and about, "assess" the situation - crowds, activity, etc., and consider "safety." But by writing about it, we can all read and agree - we are not alone. Let's smile and "carry on" as best we can. Cheers!

Pradeep Nair said...

I don't believe anything stays the same for ever. There is constant change. There is constant evolution. Some will adapt. Some will perish. That's the way it's been all these thousands of years. That will be the way in future too.

Sandra Cox said...

Ooh, vacillating. Definitely a good Wednesday word:)
Good choice of story words at EC's by the way;) AND loved your example of silly:)
Cheers,

J.Q. Rose said...

My mother always told me there is nothing more certain than change. She never qualified it as good or bad change. So I believe bad change is sprinkled among all the good things that have changed. We need to dwell on the good ones and work on changing the bad changes. Wow, that's a LOT of change. Hope you are having a good back day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandra - John Clare writes so well for the times, and then for now too ... thanks re your thoughts ...

@ Damyanti - I imagine the Barnack Hills must be a stunning place for a visit ... anywhere in the south of England at the moment is so beautiful ...

@ Joanne - my back is easing ... thankfully - the energy drain is still there, but definitely not as bad. Life is really muddling for so many - it's a huge change going on right now. Yes - we can agree and carry on - so true there ..,

@ Pradeep - you're right change is always going on - it's just been very mega - which in today's world (I feel) should not be happening ... we're meant to look after each other in what was a reasonably peaceful world ...

@ Sandra - glad you like vacillating - seems right for me now. Glad you liked the stories at EC's ... I enjoy doing those stories. That example I found - really made me laugh ...

@ JQ - thanks for coming over - change is ongoing I completely understand ... yet the momentous social change going on for us is a little more than many can easily adapt to. I'm fine thankfully .. while my back is easing - thank you ...

Lovely to see you all - and thanks for commenting - change will always happen - and yes we'll go on with help from each of us - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janie - sorry ... you went to spam - rescued now!

John Clare's an amazing poet ... it's been suggested that "No one has ever written more powerfully of nature, of a rural childhood, and of the alienated and unstable self."

I love his works when I come across them ... cheers Hilary

Carola Bartz said...

Even though you only mention it at the end of your post, I first want to wish you that your back will stop hurting. Back pain is no fun at all and can be quite debilitating.
Interesting about the poet whom I don't know, who was encouraged to continue writing when he was declared mentally ill. It reminds me of the German poet Friedrich Hölderlin who shared a similar fate and lived alone in a "tower" in Tübingen for most of his life, writing. Only after his death was he recognized and is deemed one of the great German poets.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Carola - thanks for visiting ... the back is easing - now I need to progress it to full improvement!

I'm glad you enjoyed John Clare's poem and learning about him ... and thank you for the connection to Friedrich Holderlin - similar era I note. I will explore more about him ...

Thanks for commenting ... cheers Hilary

Michelle Wallace said...

I'm a logophile! I love the sounds of words and also the way they feel when you pronounce them. Vacillating is a lovely word with a distinct aural appeal.
I also enjoyed the poem.

DMS said...

What a powerful poem. Someone once told me that the only thing you can count on is change. I don't always like change, but it does seem change is needed. Hopefully the changes will be for the better. :)
~Jess