Wednesday, October 08, 2014

chalk heart

It's me, the crickets and the blood moon eclipsing outside the open window at 2.45am.  I glimpsed the smell of England in the autumn earlier today, the leaf mold, the smokey first fires of damp wood, the mustiness of tweed coats hung in dark cupboards for a year. When I say glimpse, it was a memory triggered by something I can't remember. Sensory nostalgia, I suppose. They can't beat it out of you, that longing for what's in your bones, your marrow, the chalk and flint and clay. Only two weeks ago, walking through the wood in the Chilterns I walked so many times as a child, where the wood anemones grow, girded on both sides by blackberries, I looked down and saw the flints and the chalk, little outgrowths in the sparsely-grassed earth. There is always that urge to pick up the chalk, to hold it in your hand, rub off the green moss residue, and write on a tree with it. I always want to draw a large heart and write a name in it and then I realize I'm not 15 and such behaviour would be borderline vandalism. But then again, like throwing apple cores out of the car window, anything that will feed the squirrels or wash away in the rain has to be all right, don't you think?

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