Learning how to read, write and live on my own for the first time in my life
Saturday, June 25, 2011
It's exactly six months today since Harvey died on Christmas Day, and once again it's a Saturday. I knew I'd need to be occupied, so it was good when a couple who'd known Harvey for a very long time, and visited faithfully when he was ill, invited me for lunch. Geoff was at Canterbury University with him, and they'd often been taken for brothers.
The sun helped too. I took Geoff and Pam a pot of hyacinths, and on the way home I bought one for myself. Harvey loved them and always used to plant a bowl of them for me, then for a couple of years I did it, but last year I bought them instead. Only three, instead of the six or eight we used to grow, but they'll be beautiful.
Last Sunday I got through another of the things that had to be done - handing most of Harvey's superb library of New Zealand poetry over to Mark Pirie, who published Harvey's poetry from 1999. Harvey wanted him to have the books, knowing he would fully appreciate them and make very good use of them.
But the empty bookshelves look bereft - "Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang". Looking back to last year, the sadness of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 seems to fit perfectly.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.
Yes. Except that he did manage to sing a little almost to the end, and I need to show the same spirit and courage. Here he is at about 50, looking wonderfully Shakespearian.
My partner of thirty years, Harvey McQueen, poet, gardener, educator, 13/9/1934 - 25/12/2010
The Colour of Food: A memoir of life, love and dinner
Here's the cover of my food memoir, to be published in June 2013 by Awa Press as an original e-book. Click on the cover to go to the book's Facebook page.
MY FOOD BLOG
Click on the lemons to go to Something Else To Eat
Harvey's last anthology, These I Have Loved: My favourite New Zealand poems, published by Steele Roberts, was launched on 10/10/2010. To see what Beattie's Book Blog has to say about it, click on the cover.
"I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most." — Margaret Atwood