The ninth century text, Old English Martyrology, refers to August 1st as the day of hlæfsenunga, which translates to ‘blessing of bread’.
At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough.
You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough.
No record of it needs to be kept and you don’t need someone to share it with or tell it to.
When that happens – that letting go – you let go because you can.”
Toni Morrison Tar Baby, 1981
You let Go because you can?
Like lying floating in the summer sea
Opening the front body
And releasing, relaxing back Into trust
Into the arms of life
Being here now,
My heart is heavy
but still certainly pumping
Where is my breath?
I am able to feel the Warm sun
and the slightest of cool breezes wafting in.
One lone bird is chirping
But the birds are in moult, lying low
And it gets no response.
The cat checks in,
There is a rustle from upstairs
As a teenager stirs from sleep.
I feel my desire to stay in hiding.
My breath lengthens and something releases in my shoulder.
The Almanac for August alludes to all manner of socialising and festivities
But there is nothing I would like less.
I crave solitude,
I feel frazzled.
My solar plexus a writhing nest of serpentine nerves
I am just back from holiday
Only to still find myself in a place of overwhelm
And needing to escape all demands on me
Even the cat’s miaow triggers a clench in my stomach
Those festival explorers extolling the virtues of kayaking months through uncharted territory
Still evidently Struggled to navigate parenthood and care giving
We really don’t have to go so far for adventure
or to be hero’s and heroines.
My mum messages.
The letter from the hospital
Has arrived before the appointment I am going to with her
It reports a small but residual amount of cancer.
Simultaneously, a copy of the letter pings through on the family group chat.