In our discussion on week 6 of our introduction to meditation where we considered nature and art, some of us came over all poetic. We even discussed trying to fit some exposure to nature and art into our busy lives over the coming week and there were some great suggestions around the table.
For my part, one book that grabbed me lately and I know Richard is enjoying too combines nature and art beautifully. At the Loch of the Green Corrie by Andrew Greig is one of those reads that comes along only very occasionally.
As a previously keen angler I was made aware of this book when it was reviewed on Caught by the River way back in 2010, but I resisted it because it mentioned poetry and I knew I wasn’t into poetry!
Last Spring, having finally picked up a copy of the book in a charity shop, I read it when I was as far away from Assynt as any normal person would want to be and found it unputdownable as they say on Radio 4.
The book is ostensibly about three old friends trying to realise the dream of a dead acquaintance; to catch a trout At the Loch of the Green Corrie in the stunning area of the far North West of Scotland known as Assynt.
However, the dead acquaintance is none other than Norman MacCaig and a simple fishing trip becomes a beautiful meditation on life, love, nature and friendship.
After reading a few pages I was hooked (ahem…bad fishing pun) and even got online (?) and booked a trip to a croft in Assynt for our family holiday in August 2014.
Long after completing my first reading of the book and long after returning to ugly upland Perthshire ;-), I realised the lasting effect of this book on me, one small part of which being that I was starting to get poetry, and I found that one poem in particular had lodged in my head, not as words, but as pictures…weird! Here it is:
So many summers
Beside one loch, a hind’s neat skeleton,
Beside another, a boat pulled high and dry:
Two neat geometries drawn in the weather:
Two things already dead and still to die.
I passed them every summer, rod in hand,
Skirting the bright blue or the spitting gray,
And, every summer, saw how the bleached timbers
Gaped wider and the neat ribs fell away.
Time adds one malice to another one–
Now you’d look very close before you knew
If it’s the boat that ran, the hind went sailing.
So many summers, and I have lived them too.
Much more Norman MacCaig here.
The book here:
[amazon asin=0857381369&template=iframe image]
If anyone has stuff they want to share about this week’s topic or any other and they don’t feel like fiddling with the technology of the site, then please just send what you have to me on email and I will do the rest…John