But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.

It’s a poem, of course, by Robert Frost. I started quoting it in yesterday’s blog when I don’t think any of us could have anticipated how many times we’d have to go round and round to come out the other side.

“Whose woods are these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
I wonder what it means when people say they’ve had a healing. Have you had one? I thought I had but then last night helped me remember what I’d forgotten again. I had a healing and didn’t quite expect how huge it might be and how deep we’d go. A lot extracted and dumped. So much. And now what are we doing?
It’s all in the last three lines. I have promises to keep. And oh hell the break of the rhyme scheme to bring in the way those miles are going to take their toll but they must be gone and gone and gone and who will go if we don’t do it? So we’ve got to. Because we love it. Because we’ve got it. In all the senses. We’ve all got it if we look. The good bits and the weeds. It’s this or nothing. Let’s make it this and make this good.
A gardener has to make a judgement to cut or to keep. If it’s not doing something helpful, might as well cut it, another one will come that might be better might be worse. That’s realities as much as individuals of course. And it’s only when the gardener starts thinking about how clever the gardener is that oops you missed a bit, clever you, but mostly we cut the bad bits and leave the good bits because otherwise what are we doing because it’ll all just come back anyway so might as well make it as good as we can… …
We kept on cutting my head off in multiple realities only to have it come back into the corner of my eye laughing at us. “Did you experience total ego death,” I’m asked at one point by someone and it’s a question and phrase I haven’t heard before in this one but yes I CV suppose there was that involved a few times forever as we kept on going back to nothing on purpose or deliberately putting it into the trap just to see what happened after a while and maybe this time it’ll work but somehow from the beautiful silence of nothing there was that moment again where everything started with the noticing how well we were doing the nothing and oh fuck here we go again.
Now the Hampstead sun is warming my gnarly tootsie hoofs and I’m going to have a lovely sleep in a bit and I’m aware that there’s nothing to get hold of here because that was the problem apart from : Why am I repeatedly trying to smash myself out of existence and failing by the skin of my teeth? Because I have promises to keep and miles and miles and miles and that’s ok because look at them they’re beautiful and we’ve all put all sorts of stuff in us and we haven’t even looked at half of it and there it all is jumbled up and there we all are jumbled up and it’s ok so long as we put the miles in and keep our promises and do the work and fix what we can and hold each other. Here goes. You’re next.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

2 thoughts on “But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.”

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