When I need to ‘have a proper think’ I often take a walk. Today the weather was too hot to take the pooches out after 6am and before 6pm…..so I did the other thing that helps me concentrate my thoughts…I had a doodle. (Not a euphemism…see drawing above.) While doodling I received something in the post that made me realise the way I’m living my life doesn’t need as much revision as I’d been thinking it did. It also gave me the energy and resources to make a couple of practical moves towards something I’m hoping for……
A writer friend and I were chatting about Amy in the early hours, and she said if she was a painter she would draw her with actual bees in her beehive, humming the songs, keeping her awake all night long. I loved that idea, especially as it sums up the way thoughts buzz your brain at 4am, and how brilliant it is when you can turn the dark thoughts into a piece of writing, music or art. So I drew this…..
My life has few consistencies, but it has one consistency since I got older: things arrive too late. I’m thinking in particular about opportunities and rewards, which are so tardy in arriving that I’ll have gone past caring by the time they turn up.
I believe we attract the very thing we fear and want to avoid. Probably by feeding it with attention and energy. I think we keep repeating lessons until we understand the message. I think life is primarily about learning. I believe we carry all of our learning into our next lives. I won’t label that belief with ‘reincarnation’. I would like to avoid labels . I believe labels are a convenient way for other people to squash us.
At this point in time I’m living in a trailer on a trailer park. The surroundings are beautiful, BUT I have a vindictive next door neighbour who is trying to get me ousted. This is not paranoia. Yesterday a friend on the trailer park came over to tell me that Jill is hammering on doors and trying to get neighbours on her side. I’ve done nothing wrong.
This is not the first time this has happened. That fact doesn’t mean I’m doing anything wrong. It means the thing that I most fear, being kicked out of my home is on a constant repeat cycle.
I’m happy with the kind of minimum, undecorated, mish-mash of an existence a huge swathe of my friends would be horrified by. But I really need to feel secure in the place I live. I need to feel (and it to be the case) that I can stay somewhere for as long as I want.
Some people will know what I mean when I said I felt ‘too mental for therapy today’…..even though therapy was turning up at my Trailer (since I keep feeling too bad to do the bus ride) I decided to draw a map to show next session….even though previous therapists have not been massively happy when I do art for them. It’s a map showing my childhood …when my dog was savaged by a Staffy…and had to be pts….connected to three and a half weeks ago when my dog was savaged by a Staffy….and is just about recovered physically from the attack/surgery. Art therapy of my own devising…
When I feel really, really bad I deactivate Facebook. I don’t have the energy for other people’s lives if I barely have energy for my own. Facebook feels like spilling to a fairly wide audience, whereas my blog is pretty much a private journal. A couple of people will see it, but won’t feel the need to comment, they don’t know me, so my ridiculous thoughts are just released from my chest and i feel calmer.
Much as I do ‘things’….I write, get published…I ‘art’ (drawing and painting keep me as sane as I’ll ever be)….. I also don’t do things. I rarely see people. I don’t ‘go out’….except with my dogs. Noodles and Chicken are my pack. I’m a member of a pack. So when Noodles got savaged by a Staffy three and a half weeks ago, it was one of the most horrible things I’ve witnessed. Yesterday…after weeks of worry, vet visits, pet hospital visits and admission, surgery, panic…. I was reassured that the wound has healed well…the puncture wounds too…his heart, lungs, respiration are back to normal. It’s a huge relief. My Trailer is back to normal….I flattened everything so Noodles couldn’t literally ‘bust a gut’. He is more anxious, I am a lot more anxious, on walks. The fact the attack happened a hundred yards from my home, that the dog that attacked pounded towards us along that hundred yard path to the High Street. The fact the owner is an idiot. Which is the thing. I haven’t had the energy to be angry about the idiot who wasn’t controlling his dog and walked away scot free because I was carrying my injured dog and looking along the road for my other dog who had slipped her harness in panic and raced off. While a passer-by took us to the emergency vet, that idiot went home with his dog. That idiot hasn’t had weeks of worry, travel, vet bills, sadness, horror at seeing his dog savaged. Now I am angry. Finally I am angry. I understand when some senseless idiot harms an innocent6 victim…how that victim needs to know the idiot was punished and prevented from ever doing that selfish stupid act again.
I never cease to be amazed at the number of us who manage to keep going. Some of us in a striving way, some riding an invisible flow, others in a defeatist, hopeless kind of way. I often wonder who is happy. If we are striving, how can we be happy? If happy means satisfied with what we have, why do we need more? Do we believe we get what we strive for, rather than it all being a ridiculous series of coincidences? When we get what we are striving for (assuming we do) The Point Is? If we float along, letting things happen at us, The Point Is?If we keep going in a hopeless way, with the knowledge that nothing good will come to us, and even if it does The Point Is? What about those of us who stamp on other people to get where you want to be? Or who have to expand our ego enough to fill a room to convince everyone how great we are. And if they believe us, The Point Is?
At the tidal point where ripples run like dominoes
from sea left to sea right, memory offers up decades
of misunderstandings, trying to make things right,
managing to never be right. Reality pounds in my ears
leaving no room for imagination, the crest before anything
happens is the only time our power seems matched.
There’s no turning back, no gentle retreat to look forward to,
just being plucked like a bruised whelk from its shell.
I learn my lesson over and over again, but every wave
is a little different, shifting grains into distinct patterns,
hitting new rhythms, shuffling another set of broken dreams
to fold in on themselves.
First published on: I am not a Silent Poet, 2017