The sun is out and though it is a bit blustery, Bath is gradually getting busier and out of the wind the sun is properly warm.
Work continues apace on the Friend’s Meeting House across the street, which will by October be Toppings Bookshop.
Which won’t be a distraction at all…
This weekend the dog tried out a gamut of pathetic expressions in the hope of being taken for a proper long Sunday walk. He over-egged it a little but why not, it seems to work for him…
There were plenty of interesting smells with the woods full of wild garlic flowers
No snow, but my trusty dog also gives his little leather harness a ringing shake when he disapproves of the path taken
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost ‘Stopping by woods on a Snowy Evening’
Despite the sounds of buildings being renovated, the gallery does feel like an oasis of tranquility, the selection of still life paintings, like Yeats’s kettle on the hob, singing peace unto his breast.
I am very grateful to the artists taking part for producing this atmosphere of quiet, which is no doubt I think a way of ushering calm into their own lives.
Harriet Porter’s ‘Study of Diffused Light’ is a good example.
Helen Simmonds’s little oil is a reminder of one of the wildflowers that signals spring in the woods.
You can always depend on Atsuko Fujii’s paintings having a meditative quality:
We have retained a number of paintings by Nathan Ford in the upstairs portion of the gallery.
There is a lovely selection of ceramics on display by West Country potter John Jelfs:
Finally, some people kindly wrote back about the Cecil Day Lewis poem from the previous message.
This poem ‘Walking Away’ is the one he is best known for. It is one of those where the kicker is at the end, though it is less kicker, more all-out assault.
It is eighteen years ago, almost to the day –
A sunny day with leaves just turning,
The touch-lines new-ruled – since I watched you play
Your first game of football, then, like a satellite
Wrenched from its orbit, go drifting away
Behind a scatter of boys. I can see
You walking away from me towards the school
With the pathos of a half-fledged thing set free
Into a wilderness, the gait of one
Who finds no path where the path should be.
That hesitant figure, eddying away
Like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem,
Has something I never quite grasp to convey
About nature’s give-and-take – the small, the scorching
Ordeals which fire one’s irresolute clay.
I have had worse partings, but none that so
Gnaws at my mind still. Perhaps it is roughly
Saying what God alone could perfectly show –
How selfhood begins with a walking away,
And love is proved in the letting go.
Bath is beautiful in the sun. Come and visit !!
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Thank you for reading.