Overwhelmed

I should be happy. Relaxed, even. I should be able to go to bed at night and sleep with little worry.

I can’t. The anxiety, it just gnaws away at me. It’s like a kaleidoscope of images all swirling about in my mind constantly telling me I’m not good enough, that I will let the side down, that I can’t compete, that I can’t fight back. My house of cards will tumble.

Arthur Rackham

Who cares for you? You’re nothing but a pack of cards!

Ironically this comes after what has been a relatively stable period, considering the messiness and drama of last year.  Work is stable, though the volume has not noticeably dropped. My relationships are good – thriving even. I’ve had a lovely break with the people who love me. However, it also exhausted me. Being constantly in company shatters my nerves. Not having  our own space. Death by crowds.  There was no respite.

But still, I find myself questioning me.  I find myself wanting. I’m just not good enough. A head on spin cycle. Sleepless nights again. So much for the sleep therapy course! The only person who can stop this negativity is me. And as Duran Duran (of all people said), I’m on a ride and I wanna get off, but they won’t slow down the roundabout.

(I didn’t steal the Renoir or the TV set, but that’s another story).

Yours, queasily, from the centrifugal force vortex.

Forward

Time to go forward. Death stirs up many emotions, more complex than you perhaps expect. It hit me when writing the cards for the flowers, the finality. The fact I was writing words the person would never see; yet she would have loved the sunshine bloom (and I drowned out the disapproval of those that believe sunflowers and brightness are inappropriate for a funeral. They may not be traditional, but they are what she would have liked to have been given when alive). You choose the words with such care, and yet they seem inadequate to describe a whole life and what it leaves behind.

However, there is a positive. There were old hurts, a simmering rage from the past that was confronted head on this week. I had to make a decision as to whether to hold back when he needed me, or to let it go and be there emotionally. I chose the later. It was cathartic. It was the right thing to do.

So I can move forward now. I have my annual pilgrimage to look forward to. Whitby, specifically Whitby Goth Weekend. Home of pirates and steampunks, Victorian goths and  partying-like-there’s-no-tomorrow goths. A week of stepping outside of the normality of life; my Halloween has  become a day of celebrating both the past and the future, rather than thinking of the dead.

It’s superficial on so many levels, but it’s also so nice to concentrate on something that isn’t sorrow and isn’t work. To plan outfits, to try what works, to lust over boots and dresses that really have little place in my mundane life.  I am not a ‘scene’ goth, despite my propensity towards black clothing, statement jewellery, maudlin music and esoteric books. I would love to embrace the inner goth on a full time basis (and my alter-ego diarist who only communicates via fountain pen likes to manifest herself as such when she feels the need to have a conversation with me). I am moving further towards corp-goth but due to the nature of my job it is limited.

I also have a goal, to finish the novel that this blog takes it’s name from. I am at 65,000 words; it needs a further 15 to 25k for first draft completion and is fully plotted. I have just lacked time. I’m giving myself a 5,000 word target for the next month to see where we end up.

Thus I end this blog post. Today’s target is 2.5k words. I best get typing!

The future will be what it will be. I can only be who I am. I think, for now, that’s an alright place to be.

Let Go

So today.

My dad lost his heart. A soul mate. We let her go.

And I let something else go.

Rancour. Teenage heartbreak. The non-father.

That wasn’t on the score.

You reach an age when the empathy kicks in and you say, shit, that man needs a hug.

That’s all.

Waiting for Grief

The Sheep in the Ruins 

By Archibald MacLeish

 

for Learned and Augustus Hand

You, my friends, and you strangers, all of you,

Stand with me a little by the walls

Or where the walls once were.

The bridge was here, the city further:

Now there is neither bridge nor town—

A doorway where the roof is down

Opens on a foot-worn stair

That climbs by three steps into empty air.

(What foot went there?)

Nothing in this town that had a thousand steeples

Lives now but these flocks of sheep

Grazing the yellow grasses where the bricks lie dead beneath:

Dogs drive them with their brutal teeth.

 

Can none but sheep live where the walls go under?

Is man’s day over and the sheep’s begun?

And shall we sit here like the mourners on a dunghill

Shrilling with melodious tongue—

Disfiguring our faces with the nails of our despair?

(What dust is this we sift upon our hair?)

Because a world is taken from us as the camels from the man of Uz

Shall we sit weeping for the world that was

And curse God and so perish?

Shall monuments be grass and sheep inherit them?

Shall dogs rule in the rubble of the arches?

 

Consider, Oh consider what we are!

Consider what it is to be a man—

He who makes his journey by the glimmer of a candle;

Who discovers in his mouth, between his teeth, a word;

Whose heart can bear the silence of the stars— that burden;

Who comes upon his meaning in the blindness of a stone—

A girl’s shoulder, perfectly harmonious!

 

Even the talk of it would take us days together.

Marvels men have made, Oh marvels!—and our breath

Brief as it is: our death waiting—

Marvels upon marvels! Works of state—

The imagination of the shape of order!

Works of beauty—the cedar door

Perfectly fitted to the sill of basalt!

Works of grace—

The ceremony at the entering of houses,

At the entering of lives: the bride among the torches in the shrill carouse!

 

Works of soul—

Pilgrimages through the desert to the sacred boulder:

Through the mid night to the stroke of one!

Works of grace! Works of wonder!

All this have we done and more—

And seen—what have we not seen?—

 

A man beneath the sunlight in his meaning:

A man, one man, a man alone.

 

In the sinks of the earth that wanderer has gone down.

The shadow of his mind is on the mountains.

The word he has said is kept in the place beyond

As the seed is kept and the earth ponders it.

Stones—even the stones remember him:

Even the leaves—his image is in them.

And now because the city is a ruin in the waste of air

We sit here and despair!

Because the sheep graze in the dying grove

Our day is over!

We must end

Because the talk around the table in the dusk has ended,

Because the fingers of the goddesses are found

Like marble pebbles in the gravelly ground

And nothing answers but the jackal in the desert,—

Because the cloud proposes, the wind says!

 

Because the sheep are pastured where the staring statues lie

We sit upon the sand in silence

Watching the sun go and the shadows change!

 

Listen, my friends, and you, all of you, strangers,

Listen, the work of man, the work of splendor

Never has been ended or will end.

Even where the sheep defile the ruined stair

And dogs are masters—even there

One man’s finger in the dust shall trace the circle.

 

Even among the ruins shall begin the work,

Large in the level morning of the light

And beautiful with cisterns where the water whitens,

Rippling upon the lip of stone, and spills

By cedar sluices into pools, and the young builders

String their plumb lines, and the well-laid course

Blanches its mortar in the sun, and all the morning

Smells of wood-smoke, rope-tar, horse-sweat, pitch-pine,

Men and the trampled mint leaves in the ditch.

 

One man in the sun alone

Walks between the silence and the stone:

The city rises from his flesh, his bone.