Forward Planning

The writer in the new decade

I can’t believe I’ve only been back in Barcelona for a week. I’ve already done so much! I think the milder weather has got me energized; in no particular order, I’ve celebrated Old New Year (it’s a Macedonian Orthodox thing), I’ve been to see my gorgeous godson Eloy (now 1 month 20 days old – my new camera has a Baby Mode), I’ve taught my classes really well, I’ve GOT A JOB IN JAPAN, I’ve been out drinking at a Stammtisch, I’ve played cards with my flatmates, caught up with Lily, and had meetings and a Spanish class.

Me and my godson

You may have noticed one stands out on that list. Finally, the company I want to work for has contacted me and I’m going to Japan at the end of April. Expect this blog to change with it. I am SOOO excited. Japan is an adventure to me, and one that I’ve considered going on for years – if I’d taken a Gap Year, I would’ve gone there. And now I’ll be living there! Albeit for only three months, but maybe I’ll get the bug and stay.

It’s a huge relief, too, because it’s the first time since… last April… that I’ve known what I’ll be doing in 3 months time. Going from impulse to impulse is fun, but it’s nice to have some kind of forward planning for a change. It’s almost like my life has direction or something mad like that.

Despite all this craziness, you’ll be pleased to hear that my creative brain has finally kicked back in – just after New Year, too, and without any resolutions in that direction. My little notebook is starting to gather nuggets of ideas and poems that’ll hopefully be up on here in no time.

Today’s offering, though, is taken from 100 Love Sonnets, by Pablo Neruda, and translated from the Spanish by Stephen Tapscott…. my Spanish wouldn’t do half as good a job. It’s unnamed, but numbered LXXXIX:

a

When I die, I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me once more:
I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind, I want you
to sniff the sea’s aroma that we loved together,
to continue to walk on the sand we walk on.

I want what I love to continue to live,
and you whom I love and sang above everything else
to continue to nourish, full-flowered:

so that you can reach everything my love directs you to.
so that my shadow can travel along in your hair,
so that everything can learn the reason for my song.

Advertisements

Beach at Night

So, I’ve JUST posted, but as I feel I’ve been neglecting this old blog, I’ll post twice. To get fully up to date, scroll down and read “Eloy” first. Or second. Whatever, you crazy whimsical creature.

You know how, for a year and a bit, I’ve been living with a family? Oli, Angela, and the adorable Liliana Seeley, who is now nearly 4, and author of such fine works of fiction as “Coconut Together” and “Dog This Big – A Tragedy.” I’ve tried a couple of times recently to get her to help me write a new story…. no success yet, but I’ll try again later this month.

I can’t right now, because, you see, I’ve moved out. Temporarily. I’m living with my friend Jo, who you may remember from this poem (wow. That’s 4 links back to my own poetry now. Talk about blowing your own trumpet). She lives outside Barcelona, in the little town of Casteldefels. It’s half an hour by train to one of three central Barcelona stations, one of which is a 5 minute walk from work. The town itself, from what I’ve seen tonight, wandering around, is gorgeous and smells fresh and natural, which is a nice change from BCN. It’s no distance from a train station, and even nicer, it’s one block away from the beach! And what a beach.

I’m here for a trial run. 3 or 4 days, see if I can survive living with Jo (she’s a little…. dramatic), and then back to the Seeleys for the rest of the month. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyhoo, walking on the beach in the dark, looking at the stars, reminded me of another old poem by me, only I’ve not posted this one on the blog before. It’s set in Mauritius.

Southern Hemisphere

Away from the music, drinks and decking
I strolled the quiet beach barefoot
with my neck craned back –

just letting my feet pad down a path
between cool waves and the supple sand,
listening to the tide –

Where a plough had been for all my life
my vision traced a scorpion’s tail
and strange stars spread to the dark horizon

a

and my heart gaped wider to fit
all the new space in

a

but it wasn’t big enough.

Eloy

Hello. Won’t go on about the failure of November – suffice it to say the story was like bile congealed into words. I should’ve chosen something much more fun and easygoing as my subject.

November’s a silly month to do this kind of thing anyway. As a result, I’m going to do a self-imposed NaNoWriMo in February. I still have all the encouraging emails that famous authors send out to get you to keep writing. And I didn’t open them. So I’ll open them all in February in the appropriate weeks, and let’s see if I can write a fun and trashy comedy about “Persuasion and Pirates“. Or something.

So. I’ve got a godson! I don’t have any decent photos of him yet, but I’ll get some soon.  He’s the son of my friends Claire and Paulo. I met Claire on my first day in Spain, and Paulo soon after, and we’ve been friends ever since. It’s kind of an unofficial godfatherhood, as they’re not getting Eloy baptised, but I still have the title. Went to see him in hospital when he was less than a day old, the teeny cutey, and came home and wrote this sickly sweet poem, and promptly sent it off to Paulo, who read it to Claire, and she cried, so it reached its target audience. With that in mind, I don’t care if you guys think it’s crap. Although I think the last verse is pretty shoddy.

Me and Eloy

Life

It starts in the soul
(though some disagree),
this brimming and bubbling
feeling of glee.

It climbs up the throat
and reaches your lips,
grabs hold of each corner
and pulls to the tips,

spins up through your brain
and out of your top
and down to your toes
you think it won’t stop

’til all of you’s filled
with a powerful glow
of feeling so strong
it will soon overflow –

a baby is born,
and with this new life,
new life smiles within
both you and your wife.