Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Where does it come from,
this yearning we all have,
for halcyon days,
this dogged denial
that life is an ocean where,
at any moment, unplanned
and unprepared for, a wave
may dash us gasping
on the shore?
Rather than outrage
at our being singled out,
undeserving, we need
to feel grateful for the mercy
of calm weather.

The son of friends’ has just died and remembering how I felt beached with grief after Paul’s death, my heart has gone out to them. But then I thought about the surviving families of the earthquake victims from Tibetan China, Haiti and Chile and I wondered whether we in the West have not acquired a wrong expectation that our life is supposed to be happy. Maybe when people are struggling for survival, all they can do is hope for happiness: they have no expectation, but can merely bless the days of happiness that come their way.


  1. I think we di have an unrealistic expectation in the West that our lives are supposed to be happy. Is this because of Christianity? This has been highlighted for me recently by reading Kiran Desai'sbook 'The Inheritance of Loss' in which the poverty-stricken cook's son, after slaving for a pittance for a few years in America, is robbed of his savings and belongings and arrives home to cries of joy in a woman's nightdress.

    It sounds farcical but it's also tragic.

    I am sorry to hear about the son of your friends; our worst nightmare, the loss of a child.

    Love Miriam

  2. I agree, sometimes there is an unreal expectation that we are immune to life's valleys. Life throws things at us unexpectedly. How do we acquire a foundation of strength to cope with that, without the mere thought jeopardising our enjoyment of the heights - or does the mere thought increase our enjoyment. Perhaps so, but there may be an art to it. A lot of your poems express that, Diana. Thank you.