Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Rhythm of Signs

Well it isn’t Lent any more and I can report that poetry boot camp was a partial success in that I did what I said out to do for some of the time. Not enough, obviously, but better than nothing. Next task is to polish up some of the stuff I’ve got and send the poems off, which I find myself strangely reluctant to do. I don’t know if this is fear of rejection or some deep condition of laziness or a combination of both. Have decided not to analyse too much, or at all, actually. I have poems, I have envelopes, I have stamps. No, I don’t have stamps, I will need to get some from the post office. You see? Already a hitch. And I am post-Easter discombobulated from disturbed sleep and a creeping undercurrent of general anxiety disorder of the sort which makes small run-of-the-mill tasks into conundrums which quite unravel and obscure the Signs.

The thing is that I can only really cope with the most plodding of everyday tasks in the great scheme of things. I was about to speak of the rhythm of life but of course, because I am (allow me to speak euphemistically) loosely put together, my life has no particular rhythm, even boot camp has to accede to this: sometimes I wake at six in the morning, sometimes nearer mid-day, and it may take a couple of hours before I properly incarnate into the luminous being that is the person of Signs. Hello world, I say at three in the afternoon, or nine in the morning – or even midnight. Signs, replies the world, the party is over but welcome anyway, there’s room for e’en such as you. We chunter along like that for quite a while, me and the world. Then blow me if it isn’t time to put a load of washing into the machine, get the supper cooked, and so to bed. You get the picture. In spite of which, I heroically manage to turn up for poetry workshops and meet with significant others, for the world would be poor without such things – she has told me this in confidence and I believe her.

I am going to London on Friday to visit good friends, watch Son of Signs in performance with his jazz a cappella group – and touch in with Daughter, who has been in Edinburgh a-fixing of a venue for her show (yess!), to be staged there at the fringe Festival in August. Mr. Signs will be away for the weekend a-conferencing with other psychotherapy shrinks-in-the-making. I feel increasingly unable to deal with travelling on the underground, particularly as my journey always seems to take in the rush hour. Also, if I am to be honest, I spend so much time in Signs Cottage that leaving it begins to feel as though one is a tortoise without its shell. This has to be challenged, obviously – and I do, I do. Plans are in place to fly to Scotland at the end of April and Berlin in May. I just carry on, pretending it’s ok. It isn’t but then, in a way, it also is, and has to be. Or I don’t know what.


Minx said...

A friend once said that we should eliminate the 'have to's', 'musts' and the 'shoulds' from our lives. If I lived alone on a small island I think I could achieve this rhythm perfectly.

Reading the Signs said...

Well Minx I always trot out DH Lawrence's "with should and ought I have nothing to do" whenever I can. But the 'shoulds' and 'oughts' in my life are mostly there to enable the things I actually want to happen, so there's a conundrum.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

The world would indeed be a much poorer place if Signs was not out there interacting with it. One does what one can, as one can, when one can. If one must plod in order to do it, so be it. The rhythm is there, it's just a bit different, maybe even more special than some other peoples'.

Reading the Signs said...

Thank you, Vanilla Atyllah x - and I am aware that you speak as one who knows about these things, through personal experience. The rhythm is special, certainly. Not particularly productive, but one learns to look at this kind of thing differently.

trousers said...

"I heroically manage to turn up for poetry workshops and meet with significant others, for the world would be poor without such things – she has told me this in confidence and I believe her."

Hit the nail on the head there, signs. Wonderful sentence which speaks a lot to me at the moment for my own reasons.

All the best with your stay in London too, hope it goes well x

Reading the Signs said...

Thanks, Trousers, I suppose it comes down to prioritising the life of the soul - your recent gig (from what I read over at yours) sounds wonderful.

Nicola said...

How do you do this, Signs, - say what I need to before I can utter the words? I want to shout (in a whisper, you understand) - yes, yes, this is exactly how it is.
Do you think the rhythm of ME is similar in some ways to the rhythm (or lack of) of depression? I imagine, but don't know, that depression could be a part of ME.
I have avoided the Underground for more than twenty years after a first panic attack on an underground going overground. And now, from where I live in the southwest, you can no longer pull the windows down to stick your head out and wave goodbye or breathe. So I drive now or go no further than I can walk and, yes, shell-less-ness is a condition I am coming to know well - it leaves the nerves horribly exposed.
(So glad you and Anna are still about - I had been worried about your talk of re-invention and Anna's of submergence).

Reading the Signs said...

Nicola, I think it may be that I'm describing a rhythm (lack of) that many people have to work with, or around, if they are in some way energy or health-challenged.

I have to say I don't think that depression is a part of M.E. - though it may be a consequence, as it may for any number of conditions. I don't have it, though I reaslise that the post may have given that impression. I get anxious and over-sensitive but that's something else - and the issues I have around travel are not the same as the ones you describe - my sister had those and it was very hard for her, but she recovered.

Thanks for your comments - the urge to reinvent still strikes but for the present I remain yours faithfully,

Reading the Signs said...

And Nicola - Dr. Hauschka's Moor and Lavender oil (applied all over!) can help a bit with shell-less-ness. I'm about to cover myself :)

Anonymous said...

This post made me laugh and giggle quite a bit. I am not sure it was supposed to, but it sure did. Such words of wisdom, such wonderful words.

I hope you now have stamps and that they are securely hugging the upper right of many envelopes containing the wonderful words of Ms Signs.

I hope you are having a wonderful time in London. It sure sounds like you will (are).

Kahless said...

I had to look up discombobulated; what a cool word that is.

Heres to your rhythm Signs.

Anna MR said...

Signs, sweetness, you won't mind if I say hei Nicola, that's a real heart-warmer of a thing to say. Please note that even in the depths of post-absence, many threads are still (slowly but surely) active. I see you nipping in regularly and am always delighted about it. Don't hesitate to pick and choose a nook or cranny to say hei whenever the mood might grab you.

(And I agree so much with what you say about Signs' post. Me too, me too.)

Nicola said...

Sloppy writing on my part, Signs. Your word, depression as a 'consequence' is what I meant. Glad it's not one of yours. And thank you for the Hauschka's - sounds delicious. I tried Bach's Rescue Remedy the last time I got on a 'plane about twelve years ago and it alleviated the anxiety. Whether it was all in the mind or not, I don't know, and don't need to.
Hope you are having a musically stimulating time in London with some relaxation on the side.
(And, hello, lovely Finlander!)

Reading the Signs said...

Hi lovely peeps - back from Sin City, not much sleep, but good as always to see youse all. It's lovely to go to London. Lovely to leave it too.