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…is nasturtiums in a rain shower.
Linking up to the B&W Photography Project with PODcast
Most of the time, I don’t know what I’m doing. I fixed a hole in the bottom of the paddling pool with an orange balloon and some sticky tape. I forget to send a spare set of clothes to nursery or we’re late (we’re always late for everything) or I throw some chips in the oven for tea because there’s nothing else in or I just can’t be bothered. Sometimes we have jam sandwiches sitting on the floor in the lounge…
In the evenings, at the ethereal light between dusk and night, I look in peoples windows as I walk down the road. Most of the curtains haven’t been drawn and most of the lights are being switched on and I’m nosey. There are hundreds of identical houses standing in neat rows and each one contains one life or lots of lives and countless stories and memories and a few really massive TVs and one amazing mirror and some insane geometric wallpaper.
People sit and sprawl across sofas and floors, kids run through rooms and doze in chairs. Some rooms sit empty and others are guarded by a sleeping cat on a windowsill or a dusty net curtain, yellowing at the edges.
I glance in and I keep walking and I wonder about people and their lives (and where that mirror is from) and who or what connects them to the others under the same roof, the beds they sleep in and the books they read and the thoughts they think. A dog barks and a baby cries and, lost in my wandering wonderings, I narrowly avoid being run over as a car pulls out of a driveway in front of me.
I wonder what they would think if they peered into my window, behind the voile curtain that offers no privacy when the room is lit behind it, past the garland of rainbow coloured pompoms accumulating dust and spider webs in the window recess and over the chaos and clutter that is my life.
Don’t you think blogging is a bit like virtual window peering?
We, well, some of us, present our spaces and our lives as we want others to see it before pealing back the curtains and anxiously awaiting the gaze of others to linger…Some of us throw back the curtains before our hair is even brushed, tripping over a half eaten bowl of cereal on the way, squinting into the daylight, hoping no one minds the mess.
I was talking to someone the other day about how glad I am that I was at uni before the advent of ‘real’ social media. Before Twitter and Facebook there was only drunk texting and actual physical prints of photos to worry about, had social media existed then I am sure that my whole experience would have been a completely different one. Maybe better, maybe worse, certainly with a larger online footprint of potential embarrassment and naivety.
I love Twitter and I love blogging and every single day I am thankful that I have one or both outlets because they (you) hold my hand and offer me support and understanding and love and laughter and space to be myself just because I can. I don’t think much about the other side, but there is one. It’s as real as the real people behind their windows three doors down, as real as how they would react if I was to shout through their open window that their choice of paint is fucking terrible and why do they have 343982 house plants in one room?
I tend to hit publish and run, to dip in and out of comments and Twitter and Facebook and between real life and virtual life.
And yet, I worry. I worry about posting moaning monologue after moaning monologue, I worry about writing something that could make a real life someone feel uncomfortable or upset…I worry about the people looking from their beautiful spaces into mine and noticing the half drunk mug of tea going cold on the side or that I’m still in my pyjamas at 11am.
I worry about niches and directions and if and where I even fit in when I know that really, I don’t care. I contemplate total deletion, obscuring of faces and choosing of words. I want to close everything down and then I know that in reality, I can’t because this has only ever been for me. I get scared about what I could lose and I get frustrated when I fill up with words I can’t say here.
How do I let it go? How do I make it work when everything has changed and this remains in a stasis of what it always has been?
Outside is good for the soul, as much as I vehemently dislike anything that crawls or slimes or hops or wriggles. We laid thirty square metres of turf which meant moving thirty square metres of shingle and digging over thirty square metres of fiercely compacted, dry earth. I had mud underneath my fingernails for days, an aching back and knees and arms and grass stains and soil smears over everything.
That turf with its heady smell of damp earth and cut grass and hard work became the neediest thing in my life, demanding endless watering and “Nooooo! Not on the new grass!” slow motion running to remove the preschooler or the dog or both, one under each arm, picking my way back across the gravel.
Now outside has become A Thing; a place to spend time and to enjoy and to care for and to dig up and prune and live. Life has become a weird series of moments interspersed between waiting and stressing and worrying and surviving and out there, even within the confines of our fences, the sky is huge and everything else shrinks down to something that can be swept aside, just for a little while.
So, take the moments. Even when there’s snails and spiders nests and huge, heavy drops of cold rain splashing violently from the sky. Splash in puddles, bask in the sunshine, breathe in the air.
It’s only natural, I suppose, that after such a long period of anything, finding something that just might be The Answer feels like a bit of a relief. Maybe it’s false hope or totally misdirected or just wrong, but reading something or seeing something and being struck with a ‘yes, that’s it!’ moment is almost refreshing. Even if the It isn’t all that palatable.
After over eight weeks of feeling deathly – being confined to laying prone in bed for days at a time, struggling through life through every moment in between – making the connection that maybe (really maybe based on my extensive zero medical training) the fact that the medication that my body hates and that I am trying to come off has a half-life of five hours might have something to do with it.
DING DING DING! JACKPOT!
It makes no difference. I still feel shit. I still feel like I’m dying and I can’t move, I still have ups and downs so often that I struggle to keep up with myself but, if I’m right, then it will end. It has a reason (and I have a need to know reasons) that means that it’s not forever and it’s nothing more or less than something fucked up because of prescription medication. I’m not just going mad. Maybe.
And then I read something, totally by chance, and I see so much of myself in it that I read it again, five times. Woah. That is me. Not just now or last year but that’s a pretty good summation of quite a vast amount of my life. I make my own notes in bright blue ink over two sheets of paper torn from a notebook, my handwriting messy and my sentences disjointed, desperate to get it all down while it feels so clear in my mind.
I pass my scrawls to the GP, asking him to please read them, please. Feeling like I just might have discovered the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle, like I’m on the edge of something, like it might make a tiny bit of sense.
“It’s legitimate” he says, leaning back in his chair, his heels lifting from the ground as he stretches his legs.
Wait. No. I’m terrified and I don’t even want a “yes! That’s it!” because what then…but I want something. Instead he says, because of ‘the implications’ he cannot (will not?) take it any further. I’ll need to see a psychiatrist. Whom he cannot (will not?) refer me to.
So…what now? Again.
Blogger, perfectionist, in love with iambic pentameters & the universe. Average mummy, tea drinker extraordinaire. Fuelled by chocolate buttons Read More…