All I did today was stroll and read and bookshop. Avoiding walking on ice because it scares me still after five years in Toronto. You'd think the fact I've never fallen would give me confidence, but instead I've convinced myself that the fear is what keeps me on my feet. The minute I drop my guard I'll probably land flat on my arse. It makes for elaborate routes all winter and silly baby-steps with grannies whizzing by me. I bought Seamus Heaney's Opened Ground and got a sudden thirst for salty lips and lashing sea and whipping winds when I read this poem.
And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you'll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.