Tuesday, 7 March 2017
Keeping a light on in the soul
A beautifully enigmatic house that I might not have seen near Narbonne station if my son hadn't suggested going for a walk rather than shivering and lusting after chocolate in the vending machine while having to wait an hour for the connecting train
A very good friend of mine sent a post of her brother's blog to me yesterday, part of which was discussing the fact that in the 'olden days' - i.e before internet and even as far back as no phones, possibly even newspapers, people didn't really know much about anything beyond a few muddy fields/patch of desert/icy tundra, depending on where they happened to be on the planet and would go about their business, occasionally hearing something about the next village, or town, possibly city, possibly across seas - maybe once a year for somewhere so distant . . .
We now carry this weight of information about with us all the time, plus all our small domestic worries and fears, and perhaps it's really not too healthy. Anyway, if it is or it isn't this post is about taking a few minutes for the soul each day - leaving a constant homely light on, getting outside even if it's a total damp fog-out, to look at other things that we share this globe with: trees, birds, dogs, weeds - even a weed covered with morning drops of dew can be a startlingly beautiful thing in contrast to a picture of a ranting politician.
Go outside and look at clouds - a wonderful and cost-free activity
Today, I did feel overloaded: one of those days where everything builds up into a vast mound of impossible-to-scale stuff.
I drove to collect water from our local source without remembering the drive there, and filled bottles while worrying about my ageing mother, my ageing God-mother, our ageing car, my, about to go to uni, son, where will he live? The hillside behind our house full of trees that all need cutting, the storyline I'm working on; why is it taking so long for the people who have my last book to decide what to do with it, the roofs that need clearing of moss, my aching legs, the computer that keeps announcing 'your start-up disc is full' the chimney that needs cleaning, the dogs that need expensive tic-preventative treatments, my husband who works too hard; whether we should update our wills, etc, etc . . . plus all the stuff I happened to have glanced at in The Guardian, and that tear-inducing film about ill-treated animals someone had loaded up on Facebook.
Two things stopped this mania: one: talking to another friend - who has an incredibly small amount of time to spare in her life - about artist activities, and the other, going for a walk in the rain with the dogs. I got wet feet and a wet head but felt revitalised on returning to the house. The trees on the slope suddenly seemed quite all right - I'll get round to cutting them in due course, the boy will be fine, mother will age more and she'll be fine in her warm, caring, care home, and everything else is really okay compared to most of the screaming headlines that I saw this morning, and perhaps might not look at tomorrow.