21st April 2017
With bombs dropping in the Middle East, a crazy man in the Oval Office, and a Tory government trying to run England into the ground while it hangs on to its cash flow from Scotland, you have to do something to save your sanity. Here's what I do, and what writers across the millenia have done: I turn to nature. Wordsworth found this holding centre in a host of golden daffodils fluttering and dancing in the breeze. A poet could not but be gay in such a jocund company.
I am reading a book on cosmology, specifically theories of what came before the Big Bang. Apparently before there was something, there was the Planck Era, in which there was no light, no atoms, not time, nothing that we might think of as this world in which we live. Apparently there was just Max Planck, and chaos. So when everything in your life seems to be dissolving into chaos, it helps to go to the most fine-tuned our cosmos has to offer: fluttering daffodils and fields of gold. We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we lie in fields of gold.
The turning earth spins on, and once more we are in Spring. Life is erupting. Even though the Theory of Evolution goes a long way in explaining how our world has evolved, one thing it doesn't answer is why it does. What is this rabid urge? Why the flower breaking through concrete, why the birds on their vast migrations, why life at all? Perhaps we'll never know, but it surely relects itself in the human drive to create order out of chaos, in the poet's need to reach beyond the ordinary and create something out of nothing.
At our human best we follow the poet out of our causes, our tragedies, the inevitable catastrophes, and give ourselves over to an evening full of the linnets' wings. It's the life-urge. Cosmos out of chaos, and some writers just know how to make it sing.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
– W.B. Yeats