Sunday, February 5, 2012

Work in Progress

I was buzzing last night. It often happens before sleep, or the not-sleep time in the small hours. There are moments of near-blinding lucidity when I am able to name something, nail it to a great canvas of words that wait only for my attention, to be arranged into something meaningful. Next day, I think, next day I will do it, catch whatever it is. You can do this quite well if you make a habit of writing things down immediately on waking, straight from sleep. You can't do it quite so well or even at all when you are M.E.-compromised, as I mostly am and have been. This is why I was buzzing last night. It is the wretched creative creature, banging on the window frame wanting to be let in, like Cathy's ghost in Wuthering Heights. We are bewitched, bothered and bewildered, Heathcliff and I. But at least he is able to rampage across the moors in all weathers.

Sometimes I repeat words to myself last thing, hoping that by doing so I will catch the idea in the morning. I woke up today mouthing, "a work in progress." Last night these words had been pregnant with meaning. Today I have drawn a blank. What is this Work in Progress? There are several, but this time I have a feeling that the creative hooligan was not referring to one of my unfinished writing projects. I think it was referring to my life with M.E. It is a work in progress. Clearly there were things I thought I had to say about this. But what? I know I have to live with this damn thing, I continue to try and find ways of getting myself better, usually fall flat on my face but, you know, "Hope is the thing with feathers/that perches in the soul" etc. I have no choice but to be heroic. We all are. Just because we are many does not make our individual journies any less heroic. I have said this kind of thing before, surely.

Perhaps there is something else I have to realise about this particular work in progress. It is, after all, the only work that is always, at all times, available to me. I think we are coming perilously close to the business of noticing dust motes in the fingers of light that point through wooden (IKEA) slats and I have done this (and do this) almost to perfection. They spin like ballerinas dancing on points, is what I wrote in my last Dust Mote poem, which was really not half bad.

I am half sick of dust motes, said the Lady of Shalott.



Zhoen said...

It's all a process, a work in progress, life isn't done with us yet.

I love only having dust motes when I'm actually stirring them up, and not otherwise.

Cusp said...

I think there's another coarser version of the song to which you refer:
'Bewitched, Buggered and Bewildered'...seems kind of appropriate

I wonder if its easier to have M.E.and not have that creative nag sitting on the shoulder ? e.g. if you have M.E. but used to earn a living from manning the desk at Argos ?

Reading the Signs said...

I've quite often thought that if it weren't for the writing then everything would be simpler. But the very worst was the fear of not being able to look after my children when they were small.

The coarser version is good, yes - for us.

It might bugger the lovely rendition in the History Boys, though.

Fire Bird said...

simpler maybe, but, you know, less... well, just less.

That is a lovely moment in the HBs, and yes would suffer painfully from this rendition!

Anna MR said...

Not meaning to take away from the bewitched, bothered and bewildered life of PWME, to distract from it or claim it is "not all that bad" or indeed anything of the sort (and I trust you to know, Schwessikins, that I wouldn't do such a thing). But reading your words it did occur to me that all our lives, whether we're young, old, PWME, depressed people, Argos-desk-manning people, writers, learners, fighters, mothers, babies, dancers, school bus drivers, … you get the picture… the human life is always a Work in Progress. Unfinished until the very end, the details not all that smoothly worked in, repeats and turns and dead ends and clumsiness, understanding that comes after the fact (if then), sometimes drama and often totally dull and uneventful.

Who is Lady Shalott?

Word verification is verbit - Finnish for "the verbs". And this is quite true.


Reading the Signs said...

I have been trying to find that History Boys moment on Youtube, F B - but it ain't there. Will just have to get the DVD.

Well yes, Schwes, as you and Zhoen so rightly say, it's all a work in progress. But look at the M.E. work as a particular project within the larger work in progress. Especially when the project would seem to go against everything that the larger one asks - namely to live one's life. It asks peculiar and particular talents and imposes conditions of the utmost stringency. Of course you could say that we all have those - particular projects, I mean. Well this is mine, and after 25+ years I can say I am pretty crap at it.

Off I go to the Big Smoke to see a play with the daughter. Can hardly believe it. Haven't stuck my nose outside for ...

- The Lady of Shalott is a poem by Tennyson. And it was shadows she was sick of, not dust motes.


Anna MR said...

Hope the play was a good one. And even if it were shite, it must be lovely seeing the fair DoS.