Sometimes the imagination doesn’t cooperate

I’ve got nothing really. I tried and tried but the brain offered nothing cohesive. Just mish-mash. Apologies.

Did you know that there’s a word for a bend in a river – and that sometimes that bend provides shelter in a storm? In any case it’s ‘a meander’ from the Turkish river of the same name. This popped up in a book I just finished and the idea took hold: a meander can provide shelter from a storm. I mean I meander all the time – my brain goes elsewhere while I’m trying to plan for the future, think about changes that need making, etc. Now I have a label for what’s happening.

I had an acupuncture appointment last week, the first time in 10 years – and with the same person as last time round. We discussed and I got needles inserted. My kidney energy is very weak – like verrry weak. I got sent home to do some reading and booked appointments through the end of the year in the hope that by holiday time we’ll have a better handle on what’s going on with me.

Anyway, I did some research. The list of issues resulting from low kidney energy is me in a nutshell. Here’s hopin’.

I received my 10ml Masque Milano Madeleine purchased off eBay. So pleased. All kinds of plans regarding wearing it solo and layered with Serge Lutens Arabie.

I received one sample with the order. Caprice de Marie from Chabaud, a French house based in Montpelier I’ve never heard of. Black current, pear, pineapple, peach, caramel, vanilla and patchouli. It’s nice – I’m never really overwhelmed by nice. Best part is the opening, which reminds me of summer fruit in a bowl in the sunshine (you know that smell).

I got a short email from my brother. My brother is difficult and always has been (I mean since childhood). I haven’t been in contact with him for several years. He wanted to know about a family medical issue. I replied. Sadly, I’m really hoping I don’t get a reply to my email. I’m generally not a jealous person, but I get very jealous of people who get along with their siblings.

I mostly put the garden to bed for the winter. The dog gorged himself on grass clippings (who knew that Labradors graze) and then slept for hours.

Finally, 7 October was UK National Poetry Day.  I find it interesting that we need a specific day to celebrate poetry. I expect most of us do it every day without thinking much about it.

In any case, my Facebook feed was full of people posting favourite poems, poems they loved, poems they thought the rest of us should know about. It was great. Someone posted Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice. I think this is quite apt for our times. You can read it here:

One of my favourite poems is Michael Ondaatje’s The Cinnamon Peeler (no, that isn’t where I got my screen name – that’s from cinnamon toast, which my mother made for us as a treat). If you’re not familiar with it, well worth doing a search.

One of the others is WH Auden’s The Shield of Achilles.

Here’s hoping I find more targeted inspiration for next week.

  • Patty says:

    I am a bit of a poetry neanderthal. I’m not sure why. I have poems and poets I love, and I’ve even spent a lot of time writing some of my own (not good, but cathartic). It might be my dad’s love of naughty limericks? I keep trying!

    • cinnamon says:

      That’s a great thing — to write your own poetry. I dip into my books — open a page randomly and see what I find.

  • Sharon C. says:

    The Greek key pattern is also known as a ‘meander’ (; the article also mentions the Turkish river.
    Wandering is a great way to explore–my favorite vacations were 10% planned and 90% meandering.

    • cinnamon says:

      I learn so much from people’s comments. Meandering of all sorts is underrated. When I worked in NYC I used to pick a block — at lunch, whatever — and wander down it. Experienced so much of the city that way.

  • Musette says:

    I have a ‘thing’ for river bends and so did/do know the terminology. And, yet, with all that I rarely meander … I should do more of it.
    I know that Auden poem and it gives me much pain, as it is meant to do.
    I’m glad there’s a Poetry Day – perhaps a few who are not aware will be made so.
    My favorite poem for this time of year is Stephen Dobyns’s ‘How to Like It’

    Hope you get a handle on the kidney energy!!! xoxoxo

    • cinnamon says:

      That’s amazing on knowing that terminology. I sort of sat up and reread the paragraph with the reference to meander. Then, clipped the page so I’d know where to find it and then went and looked stuff up. Love when things like that happen. Thing is if people are listening to music — even ‘popular’ music — they’re getting poetry every day. Stephen Dobyns … another one to look up.

  • Dina C. says:

    I enjoy the poetry of Robert Frost especially since he was my grandfather’s favorite. He grew up in Northern Maine at a time when students learned to recite pieces by heart, and I fondly remember his ringing tones reciting “The Road Less Traveled” with such passion. I also really love Mary Oliver’s work. That’s very interesting about low kidney energy. I hope the acupuncture helps you.

    • cinnamon says:

      Yes, here’s hoping on the acupuncture. I also love Walt Whitman. I recall memorising Shakespeare in high school. I wonder if that happens any more. Will look up Mary Oliver.

      • March says:

        HUGE fan of Mary Oliver, one of my favorites. I think she gets dismissed with a sniff because her poems are too “accessible” (sorta like Robert Frost, occasionally) but I think they’re brilliant.

  • March says:

    I love a meander, it’s often the best part of the journey (metaphorical or physical.) I often get more out of the meander than whatever the original destination was. And I LOVE the idea of it being a shelter. We spend way too much time thinking about where we’re trying to get to, and not enough on being/enjoying where we are. Poetry’s fantastic because I feel I can just dip into it and enjoy a bit of it in the moment; I have a “poetry section” on my bookshelf and I’ll just pull something off and open it and surprise myself. I’m glad you’re doing acupuncture, it helped me immensely, I like the whole-body-care aspect of it. Xo

    • cinnamon says:

      I can’t believe it took me 10 years to start acupuncture treatment again. It really is quite powerful. And the practitioner doesn’t look at you like you’re loopy when you come up with odd symptoms — the whole view is more broad and nuanced. Yes, dipping in. Read one thing — no need to read a whole volume.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    I think you covered all the bases. Brain cognition, medicine, perfume, poetry, dictionary and even food (for the dog).
    Very satisfying read.
    Portia xx

  • Calrayo says:

    Another river-related word you might enjoy is thalweg, the centerline of a stream. If you do instagram, the accounts poetryisnotaluxury and grieftolight are both excellently-curated accounts. I’ve found lots of new-to-me poets, or people I’d heard of but hadn’t read much (Joy Harjo!) through them.

    • cinnamon says:

      Ah, thank you. It’s always interesting to learn new obscure words. I’m thinking I need to discover some new poetry, along with some new cook books.

  • annaegeria says:

    I love to meander. Lovely post!

    • cinnamon says:

      Tx. Sometimes the best the brain can do is string some unrelated things together and hope for the best.

  • MzChris says:

    Ugh! Weak kidney chi. I have had that on and off for years. Low back pain, muscle aches, neck pain, over all bodily stiffness and so on. Do you take a magnesium supplement? That helps, as does the diet to strenghten weak kidney chi. My acupuncturist also recommended Nature’s Sunshine KB-C. It’s a TCM preparation in capsule form. You can buy it online and Amazon (in the U.S. anyway) carries it. The tablets and drinking horsetail tea always put me to rights along with the needles.

    It’s finally getting seasonally cooler in the Northeast U.S. and I have been enjoying Aromatics Elixir, especially before I go to bed. There’s something medicinal and stern about it that feels strengthening.

    • cinnamon says:

      Yes, some of those. Can’t take magnesium or herbs. Try to eat decently and keep to the warming focus. I also see my yoga teacher for myofascial release. Haven’t smelled AE for ages. Next visit to town will have a go. I like slightly weird, acrid fragrances.

  • Alityke says:

    Being “productive”, “focused” and “targeted” is overrated in my book!
    Meandering, whether physically or mentally, often bring serendipitous discoveries.
    Applied to perfumes it’s the equivalent of dipping into my sample bag & pulling out the perfect scent for that very moment.
    Enjoy your meandering