I glanced up from my books just as an old lady was passing by outside. She paused by the blossom that’s emerging in the front garden, leant forward and gazed at the intricacy of the fresh new shoots. Then she closed her eyes and breathed its essence in. She smiled, then wandered on. Slightly guilty for trespassing on someone else’s sacred moment, I was thankful for it nonetheless.
Be still and know, I heard you say.
My body has been still but my mind has been whirring. Even at night, stuff just goes round and round and round…
Turning back to my computer I try to mould this essay into something good, realising that what I’d expected to be a purely ‘academic’ exercise is so much more than that. It’s about me trying to not only understand the issues but to think through my own opinion. And to work out how to articulate it. After tortuous days of critiquing, sifting, and re-evaluating, I’m at that happy stage of polishing and playing with words. I even let myself feel a bit smug for including the pretentious word ‘foucauldian’.
My essays and I have had a tumultuous few days. I keep ditching one in favour of the other. Shouting at them for not cooperating. Walking out on them then coming crawling back. They consume my time, masquerade as relationship substitutes, and make me feel like I’m going crrrrraaaazzzzy.
The sun is shining and, apart from a quick foray to the pub last night for a friend’s birthday, I haven’t really left the house. Suddenly worried that life may be passing me by, I pull my jacket on over my at-home-hoodie and go for a walk around Little Scrubs. I hadn’t realised how utterly sick and tired I was of my own company, and suddenly I’m in the park and there lots of cheerfully noisy people. Telling London to go jump, I decide to say hi to other walkers (even if I’m a bit scared that they’ll then try to nick my phone or something). But people respond and are friendly back. It’s warm in the balmy late afternoon sun; too warm for my jacket. And the blossom is coming out and it smells intoxicatingly of longer, golden days ahead and it overwhelms me with that intangible hopefulness of spring. I am sooooooooooooo ready for the end of term.
Put the kettle and push the boat out with some redbush chai. Need to find an alternative to tea and biscuits to punctuate my day. Looking forward to tomorrow when I will put my work to one side, get out of the house, and be energised by time with friends and a change of scene.
I may not have quite finished this work of essay creation that I’m battling with. But I will stop.
And I will rest. And be still.
And I will look around and give myself the headspace I need to see that it is good.