Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sheep in fog

Sylvia Plath's poem sums up this afternoon on the racecourse, at least its title does. The urban flock on a single slope isn't as dramatic as Plath's hills and her sheep are merely hooves. But her dolorous bells became two foghorns, one bass, one treble, taking turns as the neighbour's dog raced into oblivion. I was disorientated, navigating by blackberry thickets. Other walkers were silhouettes - faceless, impossible to identify as man or woman until we were just a couple of feet away. It was my first walk since emptying a box of Milk Tray almost solo. I've been nurse, scribe, briefly a path clearer and mostly a cook and cleaner. As January sidles closer I dread the days of invoices, bank statements, receipts and accounts. I have shoved everything into the same shoebox under my desk for 12 months. Last night I watched Baraka and realised how little of the world I have seen. So Plath's dark water was ahead of me as I walked to the twin warnings pulsing from the sea.

The hills step off into whiteness
People or stars
Regard me sadly, I disappoint them 

Sheep in Fog, Sylvia Plath

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