Best Laid Plans

So much for hoping to post something at least once a week. Ah well, I remember some of my old school reports that said ‘Could try harder’. So I could, indeed so I should.

I’ll have to try to keep track of the days that seem to fly by without me being aware of the fact. No excuse – plenty of calendars aound the house, a diary  – yet I find that I go to my diary, only to find that I haven’t moved the ‘Today’ marker for a week.

So what’s happening to time these days? In theory, as I am no longer working, I should have all the time in the world to do things. And yet, and yet – my ‘To do’ list doen’t seem to get shorter, more and more get added to the bottom without as many getting crossed off the top.

Time has always fascinated me – the way it can warp and defy all logic and measurement by timepieces. Many have written about time, and TS Eliot wrote memorably about it in Burnt Norton (Four Quartets)

Time present and time past

Are both present in time future

and also in The Lovesong of J Arthur Prufrock.

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

During the last year or so, while all of our lives have been affected by the pandemic, time has certainly warped and while some days have stretched weeks  and months seem to have flown by. Luckily, I’ve been able to enjoy getting out for walks in woods, hills and by the sea. Had I been living in an inner city or town flat, this last year would have felt like a life sentence.

For some who are living in nursing homes, days might be measured, not just with coffee spoons, but with meals and medicine trolleys coming round plus, of course, visiting hours.  These hours can seem endless for some relatives and friends, as this poem of mine noted.

Time and the Bell

Time and the bell have buried the day

The black cloud carries the sun away. (Burnt Norton)

Silent figures sit comatose, waiting

chairs with backs to the wall.

Time endless,

insignificant – marked only

by meals, medicine trolleys.

Unheeded dramas play out

on a giant cyclops screen, loudly.

The clock ticks.

Lost in times of old, what can

future days, weeks, months hold?

The door bell goes, afternoon visitors

step inside leaving behind sunlight

braced for feelings of despair,

facing the long hour ahead.