Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

A Breath of Fresh Air

A year ago I set off for work with a buff around my neck, to use as a mask, before masks were a thing. A year on, I cannot believe just how far we haven’t got in getting back to “normal”, except I now have a wide range of masks in various colours to accessorise different outfits. It is so rubbish. We need a breath of fresh air.

Going into work last year in full expectation of lockdown

A year ago, Mr Salmond was acquitted at his trial. A year on we have been through a Jarndyce and Jarndyce with the weirdly compelling viewing of the big fish squabbling in in the SNP pond. What a bleak phase of Scottish politics. We need a breath of fresh air.

On the plus side, outdoor exercise in groups is allowed again – so that involves breathing and fresh air. While zoom classes kept my strength and mobility on course, my cardio/calorie burning end of things crashed a bit so I am relieved to be back.

Physical church as also set to reopen but it’s so covid-secure/restricted. I think of the hymn writer who wrote the hymn:

O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer’s praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

I have often found myself this year wondering what he meant – whether he personally wanted 1000 literal (okay metaphorical “literal”) tongues to sing with, to express his praise for God – or whether he wanted 1000 people with one tongue each to praise God together. Either way, congregational singing has been banned for a year which is really shocking, in terms of liberties. Who would have thought that? It’s so dystopian, but here we are. I wonder when I will ever be in a room with 300, 500 or even 1000 tongues, to sing my great Redeemer’s praise… It’s a great hymn. A good one to belt out. I am “normally” belting it out on the violin – but I will maybe sing this one if we are ever allowed to sing it again.

We had tree surgeons in this week and our back garden is looking very different. There is a lot more sky; a lot more sky. I will be interested to see if there is, as well as the vast vast sky, a lot more wind and whether this means there will in time be a lot fewer pieces of garden furniture… We will see. So I will certainly have plenty of fresh air and bright light.

Despite the failure of the world to get to the end of the pandemic, and despite the sickening quagmire that is the state of politics, I hope you are enjoying the longer days and the prospect of spring. Whether we look forward to getting a haircut, celebrating Easter or scheduling some sunny garden visits – hopefully we can shake some of the 2021 scunneration.

I came across this poem by Edwin Morgan which, although it is describing getting scaffolding down from his building, manages to get across my mood at the moment and the lifted spirits that you get from more light, more sky and a sense of greater freedom around the corner.

The Release, by Edwin Morgan

The scaffolding has gone. The sky is there! hard cold high clear and blue.
Clanking poles and thudding planks were the music of a strip-down that
let light through
At last, hammered the cage door off its hinges, banged its goodbye to the
bantering dusty brickie crew,
Left us this rosy cliff-face telling the tentative sun it is almost as good as new.
So now that we are so scoured and open and clean, what shall we do?
There is so much to say
And who can delay
When some are lost and some are seen, our dearest heads, and to those and
to these we must still answer and be true.

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