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Blog self love

Five miles only

Jess reflects on the concept of self love through her new poem.

For me, I don’t consciously think about self-love very often. Self love by my definition exists in the moments where I am able to stop and enjoy the natural milestones of the day such as the light: staring at the shadows of the trees on my carpet, experiencing the last light of day from my desk, especially when the sky is pink and orange and the churches are in silhouette. For me self-love is feeling mindful for those moments that break the banalities of life, amuse, inspire or calm my frantic working state. Experiencing these moments are essential for my functioning when each day seems to blend into the next. Internally, I hear myself saying “hmm… you can have SOME time for yourself but you also have a lot to do and will feel even worse if nothing is done today,” so for once I decided not to listen, closed the lid of my laptop and took to the wheel…

Five miles only?

Sealing the fields with the turning of wheels
Unfamiliar with undulations on this pilgrims route I hasten,
Birds of prey on telephone lines hypnotised by the blue beetle gliding
between furrows sown by motion alone, 
The milling of gravel under rubber, the vapour of  glass, the shine of steel
The mercy of the sea, the resting of the heel
Homesteads that peer over waning shoulders, church towers squinting on tip toes
Studying the milestone to nowhere, a monolith inscribed with good will alone
Faint sounds of barking orbiting around the metallic shell
An instinctual compass to rely on light, light that shares 
the way a flint might reveal its veins or the choice of a feather to sweep the bonnet

Warnings! Deer, frogs, children, the elderly 
Here I am, working towards the cliff like a chess piece in slow motion
Blessing the fields, farms, greens and crosses which ushered me towards
The sea broad and wild, the cliffs steep and mild,
A lighthouse illuminated by the sun only 
The epitome of the liberated lonely 
The tide is peeling back, the light is dying
She is gone and the vehicle is sighing 

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Jessica is a postgraduate student studying Building History at the University of Cambridge. She works as an Assistant Heritage Consultant for Purcell in the east of England but has previously worked in galleries based in York and Leeds. She loves nothing more than hopping on a train to visit towns, cities, and villages to spot interesting features that help tell the story of a place.

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