Bruc ealles well

SpyderCeleste celebrates the making of and caring for things such that they last.  It is, we hope, an antidote to the linear flow of goods and materials in our somewhat ‘disposable’ or ‘throwaway’ culture. 

This Anglo-Saxon phrase, cited and translated by the poet Kevin Crossley-Holland, is striking for its delight in enjoying things and their use in such a way that they are cherished over time.  He shared this with me, and inscribed it in his slim volume of poetry, The Breaking Hour, with the translation alongside: 

‘Bruc ealles well’ (‘Enjoy / use all well’), which he uses in a poem as:

And the scop sang: Relish every thing!

Make good use of each and every thing!  

(A ‘scop’ is something like a bard.)

The word ‘materialism’ has come to imply a mindset which seeks to amass things, wealth, trophies, to the detriment of the intangible aspects of life, and it’s been rumble-tumbled into a near synonym for ‘consumerism’. 

Pause for thought: what if our environmental overspend is partly due not to too much materialism, but not enough?  If we enjoyed and treasured materials and material things more, their textures, patina, and history, we might take more care of them, use them for longer, repair or restore them. 

Bruc ealles well. 

Enjoy our tapestried tribute to this slender volume of poetry, easy to slip into your glove compartment. 


Source: ‘A Quiet Mind’, Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Breaking Hour (London: Enitharmon Press, 2015), p. 60

Photo credit: Devanath at pixabay


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