Tuesday, November 18, 2014



So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.
When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.

They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.
I think if they could, they would take 
each other's arm.
It's early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.
They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.
Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.

Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.

-- Raymond Carver


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

heartache possesses a faint scent of badger

The way my father showed his love was to ask you to go for a walk with him. The walks I remember were invariably in the autumn, where the sunset burned orange into the Chiltern horizon, and there was a faint scent of badger. He would hold his stick over strings of barbed wire so you could climb over it, and in extreme cases, he'd cover the wire with his oil-skin jacket. It was always cold but his hands were warm. He'd talk about hazelnuts and blackberries and we'd listen to pheasants, and I'd keep quiet and revel in his close proximity. I know this isn't what other people experienced. But I learned, too, that love is transformative, and if you keep loving, one day, you will feel loved, and thus, at the age of about 32, when I'd built my own business, and was making more money than my husband, and had seemed to embody the entrepreneurial spirit, my father said once in a booming voice across the dining room table, for the first time in my life "let her speak. I want to know what SHE thinks." This was an incredible victory in a house where women were seen and not heard.

And so, in the latest chapter of my Douglas Sirkian life adventure (the one where everything is absolutely perfect except the love life which is wildly, comically uneven -- "Oh we're going to be off again/on again till we're 95" I told my mother on Saturday) I've discovered that actually loving someone doesn't necessarily make them love you back, and even if you think they do, and you think they're cute and awkward and Aspergers-y and can't say it, and so you'll just pretend that they do, and soldier on in the hope that it will transform, it's actually not the case. And today I found it out for certain.

Not much fun. Not a great way to end a pretty happy hard-working weekend. Not a great way to look forward to Thanksgiving or Christmas. In fact, somewhat shitty. I was at an interview at NPR when I found out this news, and had to tell the engineer that I had allergies because I was sniffing so much. When the choice is to burst into tears or to focus on what's going on around you, an interesting NPR interview wins every time (also the hope that Mandalit Del Barco or Ofevia Quist-Arcton might appear at any minute). Even more shitty, because I was in the process of planning his birthday party, and feeling childishly giddy at the prospect, as you do, when it's new love (or not, as the case may be). Did I feel like a ninny!

"That's a game-changer" said my ex-husband (the only one I can bear to bore any more with this stuff). "You are able to put up with a lot of shit, I know that about you, and you can forgive almost anything, but if he doesn't love you, then why bother?" Why bother indeed. I think there is a shred of self-respect left, enough to know when I've been beat. And beat me, this did.  No faint scent of badger. No sounds of pheasants roosting. Just the sad acknowledgement that trying hard doesn't always get you what you want (and the dawning, rather lovely, feeling of capitulation in the knowledge that you do, indeed, deserve to be loved back, and to have someone who is crazy/nuts for you and can't wait to hear your voice and laugh with you).

Most people learn this stuff in their twenties. I am a late bloomer, apparently.

Tonight, I've seen a great movie, and had a bowl of roasted tomato soup. Tomorrow, I will rise at 6 to ride my horse, and walk in the early morning fog with my dogs, and breathe some fresh air into my lungs and remind myself that I have done it before and I can do it again: yes, there's love if you want it (thank you, The Verve) but make sure you're looking in the right places.

Good night, lovely ones.

Much love,

Polyanna xoxo

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Two Seasons

The stars were wild that summer evening 
As on the low lake shore stood you and I 
And every time I caught your flashing eye 
Or heard your voice discourse on anything 
It seemed a star went burning down the sky. 

I looked into your heart that dying summer 
And found your silent woman's heart grown wild 
Whereupon you turned to me and smiled 
Saying you felt afraid but that you were 
Weary of being mute and undefiled 


I spoke to you that last winter morning 
Watching the wind smoke snow across the ice 
Told of how the beauty of your spirit, flesh, 
And smile had made day break at night and spring 
Burst beauty in the wasting winter's place. 

You did not answer when I spoke, but stood 
As if that wistful part of you, your sorrow, 
Were blown about in fitful winds below; 
Your eyes replied your worn heart wished it could 
Again be white and silent as the snow.

-- Galway Kinnell


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Thank you

It is of course unsurprising that Mercury has lifted, that the sun has come out, that the jittery mess I was over the weekend has given way to a rested, calm, smiling person that I recognize. And not without your help. I am so very touched by the outpouring of sweet advice and support. I really needed it too. I was entirely at the end of my rope, and it was a scary place because it was completely unfamiliar. Thank you, lovely readers. I am most grateful. I hope you're having a lovely week, too, and that your Mercurial confusion has alighted.

I recommend a couple of things for re-jiggling your system: dogs (or animals in general), laughing, kundalini yoga, walking in nature, sleep, water (or all of the above).

Much love,

Miss W xoxo

Monday, October 27, 2014


"You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting."

-- T.H. White


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mexican Cowboy


here's a post script

"Sweetheart," says my ex-husband as I sniffle down the phone at him, "We love you. You are in a bad relationship. Which part of that don't you get?" I wish everyone had an ex-husband like mine.

I've eaten a fried egg sandwich and had a cup of tea and now I'm going to take my dogs for a hike in the mountains.

Thank you, everyone, for being there.


I'm not quite sure where this is going, but it feels as if my confidence has been eroded, and that it happened fairly quickly. I suppose you can view your life from two perspectives, one, it is what it appears to be, and two, that in fact, the whole thing is a lie, just a forced jolliness and way of looking at things. It seems that the narrative I chose -- the happy, lovely thing with dogs and blue skies and love and jolly stuff -- has great, gaping holes in it, and I'm not the kind person I thought I might be. This has been pointed out to me in many ways, and most of them by people I don't care about, so that is somehow easier to handle. There was the man that grabbed me at the Academy as I was walking through a doorway and pulled me so hard by my arm that it left a bruise. Then on Friday a studio head screamed at me so hard that I had to hang up (and sobbed, uncharacteristically for a good twenty minutes). I'd done nothing wrong and he apologized afterwards, but it wasn't fun. And then the man I thought I loved and who I thought loved me re-emerged from a war zone and has not called, leaving me to question the whole thing. I'm told by a friend in tv news that this happens when men go into war zones, and they witness things that no-one else has seen, and the combination of testosterone and adrenaline turn them into assholes, briefly. But the picture he has painted of me (in emails), of a needy, selfish, thoughtless person who is only interested in herself, who has no understanding or compassion outside of self-interest, is a very hard one to accept and really quite disturbing, shaking really. It sort of shakes your foundations when your foundations are feeling rocky anyway. I mean, if that were true, if there was truth in that, then what point is there to any of this? I find myself virtually paralyzed today, unable to move even out of the house, hardly able to leave my bed. But I have tea now, and I have been on a short walk with the dogs, and I thought that writing it might help.
I am lost today. I have spent a year in love with someone who for whatever reason feels that I am someone I don't recognize. And I've spent a year with someone who goes away and doesn't feel the need to speak to me when he gets back. And I have to tell you, that doesn't feel very good. It actually undermines everything.
I know this is temporary. I know that I shall rally. I know that I have friends, but I am feeling intensely alone at the moment.
And I only have myself to blame. I am a grown woman who has made my own decisions and chosen the direction of my life. I was with a man for 28 years who decided that we shouldn't be married any more. And I suppose he was right. But still, three years, still reeling from that, it feels almost impossible that I have made a wrong choice again.
Isn't all we want in the world as human beings to be loved, to be understood, to have two strong arms to hold us when we feel this way?
I am questioning everything. I hope it's Mercury. I hope it will go away. I hope that this horrible day will be over soon and that tomorrow will be brighter, happier, full of hope. I don't know what to do with this feeling.
Because, honestly, what would be the point of anything? I didn't know it was possible to feel this deflated.
I feel like a complete ninny.

I pull these quotes in the middle of night, they're like things to hold on to when I feel like I'm sinking. Here's the one from James Baldwin.

I think we all need something to hold on to, and I wish it were each other.

I've always had another, been part of a two that feels like a one, someone who had my back and made me feel loved and comforted, someone to turn to, and so this single malarkey isn't easy. I'm not sure where to turn or how. I am a little lost, to be honest.

Forgive me, please.


Thank you to my friend Katherine for  this. She says:

"We are alive for a short time. If we are lucky we create love and connection. Then we are gone."  

One must say Yes to life, and embrace it wherever it is found - and it is found in terrible places...  For nothing is fixed, forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock.  Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have.  The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us.  The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)