Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Choosing Wings




The ear infection morphed; became a mufflement of the outer world. A sense of chrysalis held: gentle, un-claustrophobic, welcome. 
I had gone to the beach and seen the low sun reach rich orange across the sea till it churned in foam, tumbled at my feet. I had swum and felt the water lift me.

Mr and I had been buying, just lately - proper, from a vendor, consumerist buying - things to make our lives heavenly, like changing robes to keep us warm should we swim into the winter months, like a chrome book for writing while in transit (literally, in a Ford Transit). Stuff we will appreciate, use to pieces - but previously would have been determined to forego. 
Are we greedy? Are we hypocrites now? 

I had been pushing myself, thinking that I must push myself, deeply engaged with the analogy of caterpillar becoming butterfly - a caterpillar will become a butterfly, it will happen - just as our lives will unfold to fullness when we get our bit of land and can be putting into action so many plans. Hard work, but it will happen. When we have land. 
Life can signal macabre, sometimes. 
I was driving under a fairy-tale tunnel of trees and thwack - a caterpillar lands on my windscreen and is looking exactly into my eyes, it looks horrified, I see it is actually half a caterpillar (suspect a bird has dropped some dinner) and need not describe what is rolling down the glass in front of me - there is no rescue to be done - this is a death mask - so I put the washers on. It is hot. The side windows are open. Wet spray. I dare not look down for the rest of the journey. Definitely will not find a butterfly.

Nothing terrible turned up inside the car. I do not suppose that any supernatural event actually occurred, nor do I believe that things always happen for a reason. But this incident struck, catalytic. 
There are big things I want - the land, a lake, solar dehydrators, compost toilets, field kitchen, hillbilly hot tub, sauna made of old tyres, a writing room, a sewing room, bigger polytunnel, underground cold stores, potting shed - I was never unambitious, though my avarice leans to the planet-friendly. 
Those big things are for a way of life. Life is happening now too though - I think I had lost track of that, for all the clever meditating and mindfulness exercises, I was just keeping myself sane while I worked to get that future. Sometimes that's what's required. Sometimes not.

The evening I dipped into the dark river as the moon rose near full, as the sun slid into gold-tangerine, as the water blended this celestial light, as the night breeze came cooling and I trialled my camo-pink changing robe, that evening I realised my ears were clear. So the next day I brought my new chrome book thing to Exeter, where I tended to our Granma Grace, and wrote these very words.

No regrets.



Moonlit scene on Dartmoor, a cheery woman (me) wrapped in a big coat after a river swim

Granma Grace in her wheelchair, in the garden with Mr, her middle child. There's a garden table and cups of tea.



Tuesday, 10 July 2018

An Incubation






These hot days steam by. They desiccate. Grass is pale, brittle, like old parchment. Everything without shade is crotchety, dust, fetid, or sheltering in water. I have been all of these, and the last three days each a long shift with bare respite. And my ears become stoppered with infection. This hot world becomes silent. 

Bees move flower to flower, birds turn, open beaks, there are leaves twitching, soundless.
Did this air on skin always feel like a tumble of morning petals?
Um, yes. And the smell of the warming earth under dew, yes, that has ever been my treasure. 
But having a sense impaired, also yes, the focus on what is left is re-treasured; the sense of moment blooms, re-blooms. 
Meditative appreciation, under-grumbled with intermittent pain. 
As some people get tattooed for decorative reasons but some require each etch to bear meaning - I am in need of learning from every ailment. (I try to just be ill sometimes, not much success.)
The outside world is silent.
In my head a muffled heartbeat, a thrum of blood tide, a viscous blurring. Clear bubbles in the ear lava open, buzz and caw and trees-in-a-breeze noises appear, are swallowed up again. I am left in womb-ish muffles, wondering.