It wasn’t really even my intent to write, yet somehow today the words were there, bubbling up – not like a wellspring of clear water, but like the fermenting, junk-slicked froth in a foul harbour, sliding greasily against the insides of my mind and demanding to be seen.
So, having a blog and once again deciding to make use of it, I scrawled my thoughts through the day on the one piece of paper I had with me (cos I cannot for the LIFE of me find my damn notebook, which usually goes with me everywhere, but since putting it Somewhere Safe while I went away, has yet to be rediscovered) and here they are. Various people have said to me they’d like to see inside my mind, so here – a dayful – some snatched writings between work, and some ‘thinks’ recapped. You’re welcome.
It’s almost body temperature outside, but with a bilious city-scented gusting, which promises cooler weather to come. The sky sits high but heavy – leaden and oppressive with the weight of all the air trapped between the earth and the sullen cloudbase.
My stomach twists, likely not helped by the hunger, which whispers “This means it’s working”, in harmony with other, less sympathetic voices. I can’t decide if it’s a reaction to the impending rain, the aftermath of a spell in the comparison trap, or the gnawing anxiety about a dear friend’s son – one of ‘my’ children, even though he’s half a world away – who lies suddenly seriously ill, wracking my thoughts with a futile cycle which always comes back to me being utterly impotent to help.
Whichever combination of factors it is, the fact remains – the grey clouds are rapidly building on the horizons of my mind and the sun has disappeared.
I’ve lost my sense of humour about today and feel brimming over with woes and whines, only some of which are pseudo-crap I create to make life difficult for myself. But dammnit, I can write, and whether or not giving voice to the gathering darkness will dispel or reinforce it, only time will tell. In the meantime I have work to do, and if nothing else, my patients will provide a distraction. My determination to remain the consummate professional will ensure a warm smile of greeting for each person I see, and I wonder if the theory that ‘using your smiling muscles makes you happier’ holds any water.
Time (again) will tell.
Or the sun, which has seen fit to poke its meagre way through the clouds, warming the air by a few degrees and throwing the cloud-shapes in the sky into stark relief.
In kicking a fallen, yellowed leaf off the step to the van, I realise that my mood began to drop last night when it got dark noticeably earlier. And this morning, when getting up was equally gloomy and overcast – an aching contrast to the bright, summer mornings which have delighted my heart. I somehow forget each year, that after June 21, in spite of the warmth, the world is sliding downhill back into those dead winter months.
The thought rests on my spirit like sodden coals, tempting me to find a session in a tanning booth later, which is ridiculous and *should* be unnecessary in summer, but for the manner in which my resolve seems so weakened by the day – after all, I *am* the same person, no matter the weather or season…
…or maybe I’m just a grumpy bitch when I haven’t eaten – there’s always that! But no, the thought of a sun session is more alluring as the day wears (interminably, without being able to concentrate, and feeling as though I am trapped between planes of existence) on.
I’ve only done it once before, and it was lovely – right down to the stick-on cones they give you to protect your eyes – standing, arms raised upwards in supplication and gratitude; bathed entirely in delicious, bright-blue warmth, with the skin rejoicing as it drinks in every Lux and Lumen, channeling them all into the spirit – boosting it into a frenzy of happiness inside five minutes. Bliss!
Then my afternoon exploded into busy-ness and I had no further time to write, but I thunk plenty, so here’s the recap (are you still here?).
I sometimes wonder, when I put myself in the shoes of another person and consider that if I were them, I would judge myself, whether I’m in fact judging them. And whether they know it. Or whether it’s different, because I know my perceptions are both skewed and stupid, and that I have only the right (and perhaps not even that, due to lack of consistency or commonsense) to judge myself, and that I don’t really judge them, because I don’t know them, but wonder if they think I would judge them because I know I would judge myself if I *were* them. That’s weird. I sometimes wish I didn’t tangle myself up in my thoughts like this. Especially when I’m trying to remember how to deal with a patient…who I should be listening to. Drat!
I don’t recognise this roundabout. I see that sign telling me the toll bridge is ahead, and I know that when the toll bridge is ahead, I DON’T want to take it – I need to make a right at the roundabout and then go along the road and around…but damn…WHERE AM I?! Is this the right roundabout? I suppose it must be, because of the toll bridge being ahead and all, but I think I’m lost. Well, I’ve taken the road to the right and I still don’t know where I am. Even the name doesn’t seem familiar, and I must have driven this route HOW many times? I’m sure there should be more traffic on this road…why has this happened to me again? Am I tired? I don’t feel sleepy. Why don’t I know where I am?
OH! A corner…I recognise this corner. That was weird. I wonder why I blanked. I’m still not sure how I got here…
In transferring my own self-judgement and projecting it onto unknown others, I do myself no favours. But why should I, really? If I were them, I’d *totally* judge me. In fact, if it’s possible, I judge myself for thinking that I would judge me if I were them. Partly because it’s dumb, cyclical thinking which gets me nowhere, and the rest because it’s dumb, cyclical thinking which gets me nowhere.
Even walking into the shop (appropriately, if unimaginatively named ‘Sun TAN’) and handing over my £2 to the lady with the VERYdeep tan, is exciting. I love the dinginess of it – the way the flagstones still show through in what is essentially a plasterboard cubicle with a mirror, a shelf, and a HUGE, humming, glitzy cupboard of glorious light. The trappings are sparse – it’s all about the inside…and inside it is *wonderful*.
And so, standing, hanging onto the (slightly slippery, now) bars, surrounded by goodness-knows-how-many strip lights of beautiful blue happiness, shifting in the breeze generated by the fan which prevents me from feeling like I’m cooking, and absorbing artificial sunshine with every cell of my skin – I am happy. The gold, winky cones on my eyes make me feel happy. The music booming in on the stereo makes me feel happy. The kick of heat and warmth and light all over makes me feel happy. And I’m quite sure this is how addictions start.
The rest of my day was spent happierly. I spent money on fresh fruit and vegetables. I did a helpful thing for Husby. I made a silly, prettified picture for ‘my’ boy, to try to cheer him up. I talked with friends. I spent an hour outside in the evening sunshine picking (and eating) blackberries, which I noticed on the way back from the shops, were ripe and beautiful and absolutely ready to be plucked. I have an arm full of scratches, a freezer-drawer full of blackberries ready to be made into wine, and some fresh left over to eat with breakfast. I may or may not regret the amount of blackberries I’ve eaten. But I don’t regret the sun-tan session. Or writing this. My mind is marginally calmer. And *that* is what blogging’s about.