Yesterday I led my now annual Dance Meditation day for Holy week. While packing up I was often asked the question “What are you doing for Easter?”. I know what the kindly questioners meant, but I wanted to say, “I have just done it”!
My husband David once wrote a sensitive poem, called Flower Rota, thinking of a lady arranging flowers in church in memory of a loved one… he spoke of “the sweet time it took”, as she worked alone with the flowers and the memories.
It does take much time to plan such a day, but much of it is ‘sweet’. I like to select reasonably accessible poetry, and find images to use alongside the dances, as I try to be thematic. In advance I often email a poem to a dancer to absorb, before asking them to read it on the day.
How delighted I was to find such lovely iris for the Centrepiece, even though not ‘bearded’, as we were bracketing the day with two poems from Helen Dunmore’s final collection. Cancer took her last year, she wrote till very near the end, and the second of the extracts here is from her final poem.
My life’s stem was cut,
But quickly, lovingly
I was lifted up,
I heard the rush of the tap
And I was set in water
In the blue vase, beautiful
In lip and curve,…..
Death, hold out your arms for me
Give me your motherly caress,
Through all this suffering
You have not forgotten me.
You are the bearded iris that bakes its rhizomes
Beside the wall,
Your scent flushes with loveliness,
Sherbet, pure iris
Lovely and intricate. ….