Monday, October 28, 2013

Before Winter

Time flies – is that the date?  But look, I have been hellishly busy with matters arising.  Ok, I have had an autumn relapse and barely left the house, but living with M.E. is a full-time occupation – some Sylvia Plath lines come to mind: I do it exceptionally well, I do it so it feels like hell.  It feels closer to the truth (though less poetic) to say that I do it so it feels just about ok. I no longer care if what people have is a vision of the genteel invalid lifestyle.  If you want the the nitty gritty about living with M.E. you can easily find it but I have done my time at that particular coalface, I think.  Just picture me a bit (but not unattractively) off-colour in soft yoga pants  looking out over treetops with my notebook, a china cup of Darjeeling on a tray, some thin arrowroot biscuits on a plate and a flaming chrysanthemum in a slender vase.  The yoga pants are true, the rest not so much, especially the arrowroot.

 On the weekend we moved our bed to the back room with the best view.  Son, whose room it was, came to help.  So I really do look out at treetops and sky and I am happier about this, and the new, uncluttered space, than I can begin to express.  New spaces always promise new possibilities. Soon, very soon, life gets (relatively speaking) busy.  The writing and the workshopping are wanting one’s focus and vitality.  It is the lovely Daughter’s birthday this week and we will be heading to the Smoke for a small family gathering and sleepover.  Next week we will be going away for a while to the Jurassic coast and after that we will be in deep, dark winter. 

 It may be for these reasons, and others which I don’t here identify, that I go blog-silent for a space.  And if that happens you will know that I am not dead, but sleeping, like Snow-White after biting on the poisoned apple.  I am as pretty as she, and as stupid.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

woz ere

After Space Odyssey.  But instead of a sheer monolith there are two identical concrete posts sticking out of the ground.  Each has a vertical protuberance which might (if looked at in the wrong way) represent fertility or spirit of regeneration.  There are no apes breaking skulls and throwing bones into the air - just me having a walk and remembering how I used to sit under the oak tree here when these posts were part of a bench.  It was a good enough bench but one part of the seat fell away and was not replaced so sitting on it was not as comfortable - though this was not a reason, as far as I could see, to remove the rest of the wood, especially if you are not going to replace it with something.  The empty posts have been there for some time now so clearly there are no plans for a new bench.  But no plans to remove the posts either and they look kind of - emasculated.  Either that or disembodied, like a couple of ghosts who have lost their way to the hereafter and hang around to spook us.  Conjoined twins who have lost their conjoinedness.  This is not some inner city blasted heath, it's the Ashdown Forest (this bit on the edge of a golf course) with proper conservators and the kind of people who would report this type of thing.  Perhaps someone thought that they would do nicely as an art installation.

It isn't as though I have great memories of sitting on the bench, beautiful as the surroundings are.  I wouldn't have wanted a bronze plaque on it saying "in memory of Signs who had so many happy moments here".  I was usually trying to find some strategy for dealing with M.E. and all its attendant symptoms plus crushing fatigue.  It isn't far from Signs Cottage so going there would often count as my walk and activity-of-the-day.  I think it was probably here that I first began talking to myself.  It came from looking up and saying things to the oak tree who was not often in the conversational vein, so I made up the responses, which was not unrewarding.  But it was not fun either, even if it might have helped with the poetry.  I do not associate this ex-bench place with fun.  I spilled a few things that were never brought to utterance anywhere else.  The twin ghosts are not saying anything.  But they (and the oak tree) are guilty of harbouring my secrets.