No I won’t write about this – at least that is what I said to my sister.
My house is awash with flowers as I write this: yellow sunflowers, pink peonies, daisies, gerbera, roses, lilies; an orchid and a pot of marguerites – gifts from my daughter, friends and colleagues. My bathroom is filled with a variety of bubble bath, moisturisers and candles — sensuous gifts that soothe the mind and body. To add to this some crisp bedding, and a room burner. Frankincense is today’s choice for writing.
A few weeks and months ago I felt that my life was heading out of control: The merry-go-round was spinning faster that I couldn’t see the view to the edge of the park. The feeling reminded me of the time when as a child in nursery school we had excursions to the park opposite in Middle Road. We would lie down and look at the sky while one of the boys hurled the machine. We were like mini dervishes: couldn’t tell left from right, top from bottom inside from out. At work I mentioned to friends that I ‘felt my age’ and wondered how on earth I could carry on in a profession that has, lets face it been a political football for over a century. Cooking always a source of joy became a chore.
Determined not to ‘let the side down’, I worked through a bout of shingles, dealt with home renovations/ tarting up in order to sell quickly, wielded paint brushes, dealt with the lovely builder’s yard, CL Jones in Llangefni (they’re ace!) and surfed the web for my dream “two up, two down” in Bethesda, Talysarn, Trimsaran, Llannerch y Medd. I fantasised about knocking on the door of a pretty terraced cottage here and asking “fancy a swap”. My itchy feet were fast needing a dose of antihistamine.
Suddenly everything came to a stop and I was flung off the merry go ground skinning my knees and bruising a few limbs. The last two weeks have been spent catching up with friends and family, while I prepare for surgery and I will be home, off work for a minimum of three months.
I’m unclear what all this means for my writing, whether I will write or whether I will just take time out for me, working out what it is I want – broadly speaking: three day week, writing for two days and a two up two down in a quiet sunny street, with a rose around the door (why not?), a herb garden and a lavender lined border. Window boxes trailing alyssum, lobellia and scarlet geraniums, and French doors from the kitchen to the garden decking. One thing at a time!
I don’t know if I should even be writing about my experiences. I’ll probably keep a private diary but illness narratives are just that. They do what they say on the tin; inform, give insight, share experiences are uplifting and heart breaking. Moreover I think the genre is just about full. This doesn’t mean I’m not grateful to other writers who share their experiences. Joan Didion, Gwyneth Lewis, Daphne Kapsali (to name a few) But it takes a special kind of writer to write these books and I’m just not that kind of writer. Really, I’m caustic with a cynical, gallows, sense of humour with an eye to the absurd and the bull shit, and theres a tiny lazy part of me that wishes to watch crime box sets back to back. Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods, NCIS, The Bridge,Wallender to name a few. Then read the Outlander series and watch (again!) the first two series. – Every Girl needs a Jamie Frazer!
And, the stories I had sketched out in my ideas book, the flash that came to me of a story set in the interwar years, have scattered like pearls to the furthest corner of the room. I can see them glowing but I’m not quite deft enough to recover them just yet.
And yet, I need a deadline and it seems the universe has offered one. I applied for a Lit Wales Bursary and was turned down. Mildly, disappointed is an understatement of how I felt in the context of failing to secure a job in South Wales, the School Governors turning down my request for paid leave to present in the NAASWCH at Harvard.
However, the start of the sick leave coincides with the date I had requested to commence my bursary application. Part of me thinks I would be a fool for not writing but sitting down and plotting in the midst of so much uncertainty now feels an enormous undertaking, and yet as someone pointed out to me – life’s uncertain anyway!
So I may blog, but it maybe that this will be a blog that focuses on the good things in life: Criminal Minds, outlander, essential oils and flowers. And if an element of doubt, cynicism or sarcasm appear, someone needs to give me a swift kick in the butt.