Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Beginner's Mind

I daresay enthusiasm for these notes will abate, but at the minute, I feel like recording everything that strikes me deep. I'm reading Felicitas Corrigan's biography of Helen Waddell, whose books I have long loved. It overflows with memorable moments and HW's infectious enthusiasm. We share an irrational passion for the medieval, and I think I will reread both Wandering Scholars and Abelard alongside getting on with Alice. I've ordered her first book, Lyrics from the Chinese, on Amazon, delighted to find a hardback at a very reasonable price. I do prefer reading editions that are of an age with their author. Also FC's anthology of HW's writings, discovered deep in the bowels of the Stanbrook Abbey website . Sadly FC died in 2003, so it is too late to meet her. But the idea of a few days in retreat at the Abbey does appeal.
Research for the gardening anthology keeps throwing up new delights. Everything has to be out of copyright [which is rather a relief, as there is so much post-1931 stuff] - some of which i will preserve here. Like this nice quote from Anne Morrow Lindbergh, another of my benchmark authors:
'Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day - like writing a poem or saying a prayer'.
This, and the next, are from Eileen Campbell's The joy of Gardening
Mary Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep: 'Gardening is one of the late joys, for youth is too impatient, too self-absorbed, and usually not rooted deeply enough to create a garden. Gardening is one of the rewards of middle age, when one is ready for an impersonal passion, a passion that demands patience, acute awareness of the world outside oneself, and the power to keep on growing through all the times of drought, through the cold snows, towards those moments of pure joy when all failures are forgotten and the plum tree flowers.'
Have just ordered this and a 1907 hardback of Helena Rutherford Ely's A Woman's Hardy Garden
Sunshine, and it's gone midday - I can't resist getting out into my own blessed plot.

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