Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not The Last Post

It isn’t as though I took a long trip away or did anything spectacular, I just went for a few days to the far north of Scotland. But time in another place can do the trick, especially if you don’t (I don’t, can’t) travel very much. And it has been growing for a while, this feeling that perhaps the time has come for me to retreat a bit further, so as to find some new ground beneath my feet. I have already given up so much in the way of work, groups and projects that I spent time and strength building up. It was necessary, I couldn’t carry on living always at the end of my tether. What did I think? That my new, serene life would lead me to green pastures and springs of living water from which I could drink and be strong again? That I would find a way to order my life so that I could be (to quote Ben Okri) an “essentialist” – take up my pen and write, and all manner of things would be well?

The spirit was always willing, it is ardent and steadfast. But my M.E.-afflicted mind and body fail and fail. We all sing this song, those of us who have lived for many years with M.E. We try not to but out it comes, from the breast, because we want so badly to live our lives and do the thing that is in us to do: paint, take photographs, write, sew, plant, create. We try, but sometimes there is such a small space in which to be alive, and then we think we should do the decent thing and shut up about it but we can’t, it goes against nature. Keep howling, raging, singing, one must, and keep breathing. I have been touched by many voices here in this virtual world that became, for a while, a hearth for me. People come and go, they take on names that become a channel for some essence of them, and when they go or disappear, it matters.

So I don’t want to do that – disappear - at least not without saying goodbye. But retreat is in order because I don’t have the wherewithal to keep posting much if I am going to bring more substantial focus to the writing I still hope to do. I began this blog as a kind of simple reflective practice (I say simple, but I used initially to edit my posts) and to see what might emerge. I didn’t anticipate that it would become an actual place with real people who mattered to me, or that there would be so much fun to be had in the exchanges. Good times.

But back to the I-Ching, which is where I began when I started the blog: Care of the Cow, it seems, does not necessarily bring good fortune and the Ridgepole is always in danger of breaking, and knowing these things does give a kind of freedom. I am also reminded, as though that were necessary, that the Wanderer has no place to lay her head. It doesn’t do to be too literal about these things, but the motif is there quite plain and I have my knapsack here at the ready. I am packing the notebook, the ballpoint and a strip of Nicorette chewing gum. Anything else I should remember? Oh yeah, my sweet little razor-sharp Opinel knife, because you never know. And I quite fancy the thought of whittling while I’m whistling by the fire on a dark night.

I will be putting my head through the door now and then, coming back for the occasional rant or Tweet (as in Twitter, but don’t worry, I’m not going down that road), and I’ll be looking in on y’all, emailable as usual and - gawd! As my dear old Dad liked to say when someone was taking too long hovering on the threshold: "forgotten, but not gone."

Or as my great aunt Linchen always used to say:
“Geh mit Gott, aber geh.”

I should go.


Zhoen said...

A quick note once in a while, so we know you're ok, considering. Going to miss your words, but life makes it's demands, and we must bow.

Perhaps a strictly limited post rule? Say 50 words, once a week? Just a thought.

trousers said...

I like zhoen's suggestion.

I'm glad you're taking care of what you need to do, and if that means a further level of retreat, then all well and good.

But no: to be a little selfish (me that is) don't disappear completely, please. Your presence is always most welcome.

Reading the Signs said...

It is a thought, Zhoen - a 50-word tweet, perhaps.

Thanks, Hosenkavalier - I won't disappear :)

Tall Girl said...

Torn between respect and protest. Of course you'll do what you must. Of course you'll be missed...
Go well.

Reading the Signs said...

And just think, Tall Girl, that now - only now - I suddenly see on your profile that you like Bladerunner. Me too.

Montag said...

I sensed I must see you, and now I see why.

Your story continues to fascinate me: you seek new ground beneath your feet...
and chew sacramental nicotine while you divine the energy flows beneath your homestead.
And the green pastures and springs of living water above the deep, elemental flows beneath.

You should go mainly because you have a place to go to; you are lucky enough to have an escape route.
The I Ching will take you to the northern gate, but no further...I suppose at that point we have to create our own "divination", our own reading of the auspices...and what we ourselves bind on earth, it will be bound in heaven.


Reading the Signs said...

Montag, dear trueheart oracle of the prophetic voice - mwhah!

I'll send word from out yonder now and then.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Signs

Rest, and when your strength returns, come back and tell us where you've been and what wonders you have seen.



Reading the Signs said...

Pantaloons, well rest always has to be factored in - but - what I actually hope to do is find a way of working that works. I will of course be seeing you


Cusp said...

Well this is sad because I so like your company but 'needs must' and I understand and respect your need for a little time and peace to reflect and regenerate.

It would be good if you could drop by occasionally just to let us know you're OK. If not maybe Poesie could add a bi-monthly bulletin to her list of duties --- sort of like when the Queen is ill and they post a notice on her front gate to say she's poorly or that she's getting better, sitting up drinking Horlicks and reading a nice Catherine Cookson (will you be doing that in this sabbatical ? I didn't think so)

Enjoy the rest of the summer, though I know you really long for the shorter nights. Til we meet again ;0)

Reading the Signs said...

Thanks Cuspie - well I quite like the idea of a Doctor Who-style regeneration (new body!). Consolidate is the thing, and focus.

Bulletins will be posted :-)

Kahless said...

Selfishly *crying*

Reading the Signs said...



willow said...

No clever words Signs, just that I will miss your words, but, a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. I can't even keep up with my own blog! :) Go well, write well and do send us a short update every now and again.

Reading the Signs said...

Will do, Willow - go well yourself too.

north said...

the seals say nourishment from the deep is good - these seals who just pop up now and then to say hello - much love and strength

Reading the Signs said...

The seals speak truth, dear North.

Gael said...

It's all about the time and the place, innit? I'm sure you'll be back, if not here then somewhere else.

I'm seized by the tempatation to say 'So long and thanks for all the fish', or 'Live long and prosper', but I'll settle for au revoir...

G x

Reading the Signs said...

Gael, I can say with some degree of certainty that even when I'm not here I'm definitely somewhere.

But on the other hand, can one be absolutely sure? I may just be the figment of someone's imagination. Gawd.

Glad you appreciated the fish.