The long absences here have neither been planned nor railed against they have just been, it is my life. Gaps never filled, activities not remembered, people missed but not as name only feeling, days engaged with but impossible to bring to mind without detailed notes and pictures etc, etc.
Sometimes I just get very tired of trying to keep track and let the daily routines and rhythm slip but often lose them completely.
This is sometimes a conscious decision though more often than not it is a case of me absent of mind ripping up and throwing away the notes, books, alarms and all the other nuts and bolts that hold this life together, then metaphorically heading down a jetty path just for a quick look at boats and water beyond.
Of course the quick look becomes weeks and sometimes months of floating midst a sea of chaos oblivious to the rotting planks of the row-boat I have cast off in, until feet become decidedly damp or better still I find myself sitting in my boat with oars floating rather than pulling as water level inside is equal to that outside so that swimming rather than rowing happens whether I want that or not.
But always there are new things to glimpse in the waters surrounding and entering my boat and though there are times when sense of drowning is more than ‘just’ a sense, the delight of the life flowing around and past me rarely leaves me.
I often daydream about a last boat ride I will make and am never dismayed by these thoughts rather they are the life-preserver for now. They always awaken in me great feelings of thanks and joy in knowing that I have this wonder-filled landscape to glide through, be held by and eventually almost certainly be embraced and captured by.
The boat ride may one day be one embarked upon in a solid plank built boat, across known waters that roll on to familiar shorelines, moving ever towards the dark horizon filled with falling stars and rising sun. The wheel house will be empty with its steering gear lashed to a point on the compass for I will need to be at the prow to watch the waters I will forever be part of at journeys end and beginning. Where that horizon and I will become one as the falling star and rising sun become the only trace I leave behind.
Or the waters I travel through may be those labelled by others as madness, dementia or senility, the boat will be hidden from all save my heart and mind but still the horizon will beckon and the falling stars and rising sun encourage and fill me up with the wonder and magic that have formed and reformed me for the now and always known and unknown.
Today, however, has been one of journeys more mundane from washing machine to drying line on to bathroom with mop, scourers, sponge, cloths and various cleaning fluids then back to bin-bag-recycle questions and responses. Midst these activities have been times of rest and laughter, time to engage with Rhys Banon and Flo and time to consider the past few months of change and dispersal both of stuff and in my daily life.
Adjustments and renewal seems to have been the theme of the last six months. Some of that has been affected because of changes in my health which have meant both serious and hilarious conversations with medics. My sense of the absurd always wins out when it comes to pronouncements from an ‘expert’ who can’t even remember my name unless they look at a file and then they still give me another name.
That person got short shrift from me and I have to say there is a great sense of freedom when one walks out on a specialist whose jaw is still on the floor as you majestically sweep out of their presence.
Midst all this my GP retired so I have a new woman in my life, if only: 0). who is young keen and somewhat caught up in ‘the protocol’. I have gently but decisively said no and she has realised that is not a posture but a well thought out response and I am always open to new information and do say yes from time to time. She has had a baptism of fire somewhat given I got hooked up to a machine and she noticeably went grey and looked astounded. Her reflex action was to reach for a prescription pad as certain chemical ‘had’ to be taken immediately by me.
When I burst out laughing she was even more flummoxed as she informed me ‘this is serious’. As I had seen the numbers reading out on the screen I knew it was serious but the seriousness for me was communicating as clearly and insistently as I could without undermining her ideas of her role too much.
This doctor had only met me three times before so was definitely still in her induction period, cough, but I knew better than to let her get a positive response from me just to make her feel comfortable as this would not only be a fabrication of my response in to other than what it would really be otherwise but would stain the rapport I would wish to build with this woman by appearing to be other than I am.
As I clearly said no to the chemical she intended to write a prescription for she looked confused. I told her quietly but firmly I was fully aware of the seriousness of the numbers on the screen but that I was considering those beyond this room we found ourselves in so my answer would be no to the four different drugs she was about to offer me.
At this she laughed then asked me if there was anything I would consider. I actually didn’t need to consider anything because I had been through that process before I had entered the room with machine and doctor in it. She smiled and asked what my solution was. I said I had no solution but there was a prescription she could write and I would take the chemicals in that drug but only on the understanding that this would only be taken whilst there was a reason I accepted as valid.
I have sailed with those chemicals since and though the waters have been rather more than choppy I have continued to bob up above the waves from time to time gasping for air and probably reeling from the mythical wet fish slapping itself across my face.
So today midst the washing and playing I also began to get to know the contraptions of torture in the gym of the local sports complex. Torture it wasn’t as I love a challenge that’s about me challenging me and this was certainly that. My limp may have been a little more pronounced as I made my way back to the car but it doesn’t mean I won’t be there again on Wednesday. I have some goals in mind but it’s always day by day, moment by moment in this life so though the lycra and water bottle are part of this journey the books, paper and mark making implements are still in my bag along with balls of yarn and various sticks and shuttles.
I have a long way to go but I sense I have in so many ways begun to look around me and once again know how so very fortunate I am, how rich beyond any imagining I find myself to be. Be it a journey that lasts a day or many years I can only ever live it moment by moment.
I am unable to answer questions like ‘where do you see yourself in a year or more’ or ‘what is your dream life’. I find those kind of questions really very puzzling but I know as I wander around my home and garden and recognise the neglect-chaos-general dishevelment that I have had some tough moments which have sidetracked and completely pole axed me, my life and its living. Those moments may have lasted a day or many years I don’t know.
All I know is this moment, a moment of joy understanding that the moment is more than enough for one woman to entertain.
These past days and months I have had a small book by my side, which looking at its well worn pages and very scruffy cover has travelled with me a long time. I am glad as it has made me smile with recognition as I realise there is much I may all too often ‘lose’ but others words and thoughts set them free from the disarray of the filing system in my brain and the recalcitrance of skeleton.
From its pages today I wrote two maxims out in my day book to both consider and just hold in my heart awhile. As I begin this blogging thing again I think they will be good to pin up by my desk to remind me and to place here to mark yet another beginning.
“In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always easy”
“Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t”
From ‘Illusions The adventures of a Reluctant Messiah’ by Richard Bach