In Difficult Times…

In difficult times, literature can be a respite or a road map, fiction can offer a way forward or a means of escape, and poetry can be a pronouncement or a poultice.

This is what the Paris Review (233) editorial note by Emily Nemens reminds us.


It is to literature that we turn. In need of connection, we search for the familiar and seek commonality. What brings us together until we can be together again is finding what we have in common, uniting against injustice and discrimination and stopping to listen to and observe what is happening in the world.

What we are living – and dying – through now is also made a little more bearable by connecting with nature. This week I visited a garden centre for the first time in over a year. It was full of people – many with masks – looking for inspiration to create edible and ornamental additions to their indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Looking for beauty. Finding objects that seem useful and promise to bring joy. I found myself veering towards bright colours, searching for light. I picked out a large cerise pot into which I planted Kale and Black Cabbage. All with the knowledge that from nourishing and caring comes flourishing and blooming.


6 thoughts on “In Difficult Times…

  1. Very well written Shauna, but then I’d expect that. Your choice of colours for your pot and plants I found very interesting. Although not a naturalist by any means I had a couple of sightings of particular butterfly, or maybe moth, told you I’m not a naturalist, and ‘her’ colours were a smokey dark/grey body with wings to match but lined in a half ‘s’ shape with a definite cerise. Resting this is impressive enough but when ‘she’ opens to fly words fail. It’s going to become my palette for a future painting project, unfortunately I’m death to plants but maybe if I could get somebody in … Apologies for the long comment and thanks again for your ‘educo’ in Slane.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and to comment. From the detailed and beautiful description, it sounds like you spotted a most beautiful butterfly – I hope it put a smile on your face as reading about it did on mine!


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