No poem today. Marvellous man and I were away for the weekend – marking 20 years together. We went inland to Dunkeld in Perthshire (view above is from our hotel room). We had a lovely time – food, drink, nature, music, peace – and I must be getting old (I am) because sometimes I feel like I would happily never leave Scotland again. We were only an hour from home but the scenery and atmosphere were completely different. There are many different Scotlands and they are pretty much all brilliant in one way or another. And 20 years... who would have thought he would be able to bear me for this long! It's amazing.
But there is a UK general election on Thursday so this is not going to be a quiet week. First there was the concert in Manchester last night... not my kind of music for the most part but the spirit on show was impressive. I listened with admiration as people in the TV studio talked about not being afraid and keeping on coming out to show defiance etc. (I admire this, in part, because I am one of those people who is fairly anxious wherever I am and whatever I'm doing...). It's worth reading this great interview with the Manchester poet Tony Walsh who was such a powerful voice with his poem 'This is the Place' after the attack on 22 May. I love what he says about poetry in the interview – really worth a look. I think I was myspace friends with him about 10 years ago... that feels like a lifetime ago already.
And then London on Saturday night... again much horror followed by much defiance and 'we will not be scared' reactions. I know these reactions are important and I understand the point of them but they make me a little uncomfortable (this might be just my own weirdness...). And then this morning I read this piece about a Canadian who died in London on Saturday night and how her fiancé watched her die in his arms. "He is broken into a million pieces," said his sister. So this is a couple who won't make it to their 20 years together... not the first, not the last (of course!), not in the UK, not anywhere... but it is still sad and maybe I'm just a maudlin person but it's the sad that follows me about more than the defiant (well, at the moment anyway). I go and listen to the lovely mournful tune/song that Kim Edgar wrote for an old poem of mine about another London sadness (listen here). It's a beautiful set of sounds and I think how I admire that too (the ability to make beautiful sounds).
Happy, sad, happy, sad. And so on.