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Purple Daze.

By May 2, 2020October 22nd, 2021No Comments
I shall wear purple Jenny Joseph.jpg

I have been bra-less for days.
Sometimes pant-less.

And to be honest, the thought of jeans and jackets seems absurd right now.

Same with painted toes and faces. And power suits.

Since COVID hit, like most of us, I’ve gradually loosened the conventions that were the dictate of my prior days, dropped lots of expected societal civilities, almost to the point of complete abandon.

Today, I ducked out in the drizzle to 7-11 wearing purple pyjamas, black Ugg boots, thick reading glasses – and an old, draping mohair dressing gown wrapped around my untethered boobs.

I must have looked deranged. Drunk. Deluded. In equal parts – if anyone cared to look. (I didn’t look). Because I actually don’t care anymore.

These days – today – other things matter.

Like a rich inner life. Tended garden. Tended people. Warm baths. Good books. Board games. Bored games. Writing. Wondering. Cooking. Noticing. Singing. Thinking. Slowing. Raking. Connecting. Zooming. Napping. Watching rain. Living again. Going naked in the garden. Real stuff that makes up real lives.

This time we are living through is a chance to be who we are without pretence. A chance to rebuild connections with each other and reclaim those deeper parts of ourselves that were buried by the drudgery and fakery of the day to day. A chance to abandon convention and expectation for the sake of itself – and instead, set our own cadence for our own true selves.

A friend reminded me recently of one of my favourite poems – by Jenny Joseph, written in 1961 when she was aged just 29. It’s about ageing ungracefully, not giving a fuck – and the liberation of oneself from the shackles of our suburban lives.

Enjoy it. And wear purple. 🌂X

Warning by Jenny Joseph

Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 1992)

“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.”