Fine Art

Some sayings seem funny when you consider them or try them on your tongue before saying them. Off to a fine art. A fine art. And I have. I thought so this morning. I’ve got this sans-boiler malarkey off to a fine art, I thought. Out of bed I dash upstairs to the kitchen to switch on the kettle and turn on the blow-fire, then back down again to make my bed and prepare the bathroom. Then back up for the boiled kettle to pour it into the bath, then back up again to boil another kettle-full, meanwhile I lay the table for breakfast and write the shopping list. Then it is back down to empty the water into the bath. Then I hang over the bath to wash my hair and face before stripping to get into the now foggy water to splash myself with soap and water. It does. I am managing. Though I do sink later.

Might they come today?

The papers arrived yesterday so clearly some traffic is getting through the mountains. We ran out of milk, she said placing a plum on the scales. Then it arrived late yesterday and there wasn’t time to get it into the fridges. Were you affected by the snow? she asked. I’d gone to work and when I came out my car was sliding all over the place, she continued. I’ve never driven in snow before.

We’re both a little tetchy. He hasn’t slept and I always get edgy in the anticipation of people coming. All that noise and clatter and big galumphing feet. They are good men though, I think. I’d just rather be left in peace.

I dreamt he’d been run over. It was a surreal thing. There was no blood, no gore. He was just flattened before my eyes. The driver of the car, or truck or steam roller, I couldn’t be sure, was angry with him for getting in the way. I cried out, hollered. He was alive. He opened his eyes. He was in shock. It woke me. I got out of bed, had a pee and put on the fire.

My work feels uncontained. I don’t know what questions to ask of it. And yet, there is something, something is coming. I must just persevere. I like the involvement of others. It is very engaging, she wrote. That’s nice. To engage others, I want this. And yet, I also want, nay long for my solitude. Out solitude. What is coming? We cannot know. Shan’t know. Shouldn’t know. Take each moment. Live it a fully as you can. Alive to it. To all.

I’ve been listening to James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He writes exquisitely. It takes a while to orientate myself, but when I’m steady the language pours over me like honey. But it is bleak, a bleak mostly internal experience. And sometimes I want lightness.

The sky is whitening now. A seagull flashes across it. They’ve been gathering on the shore these last few mornings, huddled up with an occasional oystercatcher peeping in the distance. Unseen but heard, echoing across the promenade. The stink of starling guano from under the Pier made me cross the road.

To work. Enough. Time to make something of the day…..