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I’m a woman of thought.  Someone, a man, once asked me what I most like to do. He was flirting.  I, 18, wooden, innocent, surprised, could only say, hmm, I like thinking?! I have lived with my thoughts for a long time, and wondered what to do with them. Sometimes I am frustrated with all the ideas that spin around my head, how they seem to want a life, they seem to have a purpose, and yet I seem only to give them the broom cupboard of my mind. Now for a change of tack. Now I’d like to share them. It is an experiment in creativity, in responding to what is, in following the path that lies before, and not questioning too much the nature of things as they deeply are, whilst also questioning everything, tirelessly.

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Frost

The cold in my bones

Seems to stop

The things in my head

The Flowers of thought

All frozen

And being a being who’s

Mostly thought

I seem suspended

In winter

Awaiting the thaw of

Spring

So my soul can run

Again

Oh it was lovely to get back yesterday. I looked up from my book at East Grinstead and there was so much snow, all egg white dripping off the trees, what a delight. In suffolk it was getting to the sad and scruffy stage of the thaw, but here it was still looking magic. We discovered that there was around 10″ on the drive coming into the car park and accross the fields. Dang, and we missed it all!  After going to say our hellos, we piled into the truck, set the fire and had lunch. Temperatures here had not got above freezing in two weeks. We had left in a rush. The milk, dated 30 December, was still fresh! It reminded me of the Marie Celeste, crossed with the remains of failed polar expeditions – everything frozen, and still in tact.

I have succumbed to the flu which has been going round. Ho hum. It is half misery (my head feels horrible and i dont want to eat, I love eating so this makes me sad) and half pleasant to have some time on the shelf.

On Leaving

Home time. Home from Home. Time to go home to my real home: the truck awaits, our little world, abandoned unwillingly and left alone in the snow for too long. Time to leave my childhood home again, and every time it is as if I am coming of age once more. Again and again: I regress as I cross the threshold and step fully into an old skin which, ghostly in normal life, here is course and thick and suits me badly.  I re-emerge at the end into my adult self, dazed and reeling, stepping uncertainly yet with new resolve to carve my life afresh. I wonder why I am so fragile? Why at 30 a fortnight here should resonate so deeply?

Change, moving places, always affects me. It is a mark point, a taking stock, a chance to compare and contrast, and to break into a new state of being.  Often I fight it, lingering too long – at the shops, at friends, in towns, in countries. I must learn the art of the timely departure, quitting while I’m ahead. Perhaps it is because I find the transition so profound, and I hold on to put off the moment when the storms will come inside me. Boulversant: in French it means turned upside down and around. A thousand questions are running in my head: was it as good as it could have been? What did I do wrong? How could I have enjoyed it even more? What could I have been doing instead? And, What is next? Will things be OK? Have I prepared myself well enough? Have I made the right choice in going now? What if I had gone sooner? The sheer act of taking action, it seems, throws me into anxiety, however mild, so that every change, every moving on, however smooth, has for me this undercurrent of checking in, of looking at what has gone, and what is to come, and hoping hoping hoping that everything will come good. Sometimes it is like a warm breeze , carrying me on, other times its winds lash and pour upon my psyche, and it takes me days to regain peace and establish a routine which is born of my own sense of purpose.

I am becoming used to these goings on, and know, at least in the back of my mind, that a going will put me off, make me more sensitive, melancholic, or edgy, or it will fill me with strength, enthusiasm and a lust for the world. Either way, it will not be bland.

thaw

We came downstairs to a snowy Suffolk morning, a couple of days before the recent attack of weather really got going.

There was a kind of huge silent space in the air, as if the gods were standing round giving away nothing but their magnificence.

Til next time, dear, pure winter. We love you deep, and crisp,  and even – because you let us know that everything can be beautiful, if brief.

2009 was quite something. We started the year off in Goa, contemplating plans and weighing up the pro’s and cons of living in a vehicle, doing the festivals…We ended it in sub-zero temperatures and snow, wrapped up cosy and warm in our converted horsebox, a dream come true, parked up on an organic strawberry farm in Sussex. (well, almost: in fact the new year was spent shivering and snowed in at my parents drafty cottage in suffolk. such is life.) It was a year of  talking, and thinking, and dreaming, and talking, and making things happen, slowly and slowly getting where we want to be: at turns painful and incredibly satisfying,  we are still at it and getting better at thinking about what we want and making it a reality. When you take away the structure of work, and of big domestic overheads, when these no longer dictate to you a pattern for your life… Its gorgeous, and liberating, and of course romantic.  But its all up to you. There is no more “if only”: you get to decide what is really important, and if you get it wrong – or right! – you take full responsibility. Life has turned into a constant feedback loop.

shame shame

the sling is lost! it is not good. a series of unfortunate events meant that pants had poo in them and sling was left by the side of the road. NOW how are we going to transport our wayward and wondering toddler? Did I mention that he is a rather determined young man? And how is he supposed to sleep without his portable bed?!!! crisis talks were held, and an emergency mei tai is in at the tailors as we speak. i cut the pieces from memory and the remnants of some cloth i had (luck had) just bought to make wraps for a few pennies to sell back home. Careful labelling, and several drafts of drawings later, me almost bursting into tears when the tailor used two of his twenty words of english to tell me there was “no time”, and he has agreed to save our skin. and we will be mei taiing it for a while…

I’m attempting to put together the last bits of our route south. We are booked half way down as far as bhopal, but the xmas rush kicks in after that (there are christians in the south) and its proving tricky. internet is a gauntlet esp witht he connections and electricity functioning at whim. manual booking means queuing (and being pushed in front of) for some time, and you can only ask about 2 trains at a time. oh just bring me to that beach!!