I am feeling anxious and unwedged. Nothing I can’t name, and naming the demons does give a certain hold on things. Not enough of a hold, however, to let me get on with writing, the other sort, I mean. Some people write to keep themselves sane but I need all my sanity to feel centred enough to do it. On the other hand, doing it can also help centre me. On the third hand, I do not do writing as therapy. On the fourth hand, just do it. I need to write a poem by Saturday. I have plenty to work on, but it has been too long since I made a new one and this Saturday is workshop day. I never usually sit down to write a poem knowing what it is I want to write about. Very occasionally I do feel, as a poet friend of mine has described it, “with poem”, as though I am about to give birth to one. Usually it is by setting myself a certain task, going to the coalface, that I hit a seam. I know that a fixed routine helps but M.E. makes its own agenda and is unpredictable. I have to work around it.
There is a steady trickle of people coming to look over the house. They are charmed by it in for the same reasons as I am. They also notice the things that have contributed to the decision to up and move. Our last viewer was a woman whose husband had died two years ago. She said the house was lovely, looked over the treetops from the room with the extraordinary view and said “oh” several times when she went up and down the steep stairs. I wanted to say don’t even think about it. She is not young and doesn’t look like the aerobic and pilates type. The stairs will be too much for her. “I will think about it,” she said. “If it is meant to be, it is meant to be.” Buying houses does this sort of thing to people.
Another woman said she couldn’t wait to see the garden studio “where you do all your writing.” As I hadn’t said a word about writing this threw me a bit. I didn’t tell her that I don’t actually do my writing there in the winter, preferring the snugness of the tiny room in the house. She kept staring at me open-mouthed. It was odd. Like I said, I’m a bit unwedged.