In her marvellous autobiography Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? Jeanette Winterson writes about home representing order. Order and safety. Order. A sense of order, of rightness, of calm. Things in place. Routines that follow a pattern and method. It struck me. Order can be in place on the outside. Clothes can be washed, bodies fed and watered but a chaos can still reign. A volatility that cannot be contained. I loved and continue to love imposing order. It does hold me in place, but when I am without, I am more than a little bereft. And yet, I see my rigidity and am, at times, sorry for it. It is straitjacket and corset to me, tether and noose. But I can still thrive. Bloom where you are planted. Be who you are. And then breathe. Let it be. Let it be as it is. Not how you’d like or imagine it can be. I didn’t write about my grief at not being selected. And it came, even though I’d prepared myself, and saw that it probably wasn’t for me. It is so often an ego thing. I needed, or thought I needed, to feel chosen. There were 58 applicants the email informed me. We hope you are not too disappointed, it read. How I hate such missives. They do nothing to ease it, the failure, the gloom, the wish that you’d written something better. But it’s OK. My current workload is done. I can rest a little, gather myself for the next tranche of emails sending out suggestions for writing. You never know when they are going to come. Enjoy the space when it presents itself. It is a gift and there is so much you’d like to fill it with. Isn’t there?
The train entranced him. He was aglow. I loved the steam in the air before us, the sharp tooting of the whistle, and it’s slowness. We took our time climbing. And the meadows looked so beautiful. Untouched long grass, vividly green. Stunning.
Sentences, phrases, words come into my mind, my head on waking. Are they mine, or do thy belong to another voice or plane? I’m at a time in my life, it said, when I’ve married a dead person. That was it. Word for word, verbatim. What does it mean? he asked at breakfast. I don’t know. It sounds wise, knowing.
Time for coffee, the radio and, as I need grounding, sewing.