Thursday, 2 February 2012

Live large and dream small

Job Davies, eighty-five
Winters old, and still alive
After the slow poison
And treachery of the seasons.

Miserable? Kick my arse!
It needs more than the rain's hearse,
Wind-drawn, to pull me off
The great perch of my laugh.

What's living but courage?
Paunch full of hot porridge,
Nerves strengthened with tea,
Peat-black, dawn found me

Mowing where the grass grew,
bearded with golden dew.
Rhythm of the long scythe
Kept this tall frame lithe.

What to do? Stay green.
Never mind the machine,
whose fuel is human souls.
Live large, man, and dream small.

Lore, by R.S Thomas

Thinking about my last blog, I remembered this poem. It's always been one of my favourites. I love its sense of defiance. In some ways it says in a few lines what I struggled to articulate in several paragraphs.

'What's living but courage?' 'Doing' requires courage. It means taking responsibilty for what's going on in the world and making an impact through your own actions.  But it also gives you back your soul. If you put time and effort into doing something you value it much more than if you are handed something on a plate. Or watch it on a screen. Or read about it in a newspaper.

Strangely enough the need to go back to doing seems to be a bit of a theme at the moment. Mark Avery, one-time RSPB Conservation Director and now on-line commentator on the plight of the country's natural environment, was talking about it in his blog yesterday. Even eco-household-name Dick Strawbridge of It's Not Easy Being Green fame was going on about it on the radio. So it must be an idea whose time has come, mustn't it?

Perhaps we could start a movement?

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