I fell down a rabbit hole there. I’ve been writing hard, and keeping late hours, (when I read like a fiend). The Moon-girl is away on music camp, so my rhythms become less…child-friendly.
Writing this obsessively, exhaustively, brings me a deep sense of peace, and it’s where I need to be, (in fact, for me it’s a cure for most everything).* But it can also bring on a bubbling, manic mind, and fits of melancholy.
You know the kind of melancholy? Where a body has to go striding across the moors on a cold day in a long skirt, wild of hair, and gibbering to oneself? Until of course, the absurdity of it all had me in giggles, (because the French Lieutenant’s Woman, I ain’t). I’m a near 45 year old woman in desperately bad track pants.** But this does mean I get to sheepishly enjoy the whole wild caricature of myself.
Anyway, sometimes the real and imaginary blur to the point where the “real” world seems like a strange and achey place in which to live.
But the thing is, I love people. So, there’s the rub in my rabid instinct for all that’s solitary. And the need for both is a kind of emotional ecosystem I need to constantly balance. Also, the whole point of the writing is, I realised, not for an audience, (because when I think of it that way, I simply stop writing); but for people. That ache for connection, and the whole damned caring what happens. To everyone.
I’ve often wished that my superpower was invisibility. And I’ve had conversations with my nearest and dearest, who are (understandably) baffled by my intensely private impulse to keep my blog extreeeeemely low-key. My wish to be utterly invisible. I even joked about how I should write an online course on How to Deflect Traffic from you Blog.
Because I know how to do this!*** Although in all seriousness, I think this way of blogging is in fact stupendously rewarding due to the kindreds who gather and bother to read me. I honestly feel as though I would happily invite you in for a cuppa and a well-met-by-moonlight slice of cake. Which is saying something, because my home is my inner sanctum.
Anyway, invisibility. Yes. There are reasons for this. A big reason is what Mel says, (because it’s often the case that I feel as though she’s been in my head – because fellow introvert n’stuff).
Essentially, I too find it hard that people in my Real Life read my blog. There’s something tender and raw about that feeling. Mostly I can sit with that these days, but at other times I feel something akin to panic. And I run.
This is despite the fact that apart from perhaps one or two individuals who I no longer see, who turn up here only to seek out some kind of schadenfreude****, there are others who I am beyond delighted to have here. Even silently. It feels like an invisible support. An abiding with, and seeing me in a way that’s possibly quite tricky beyond this written realm. I’ve come to see it that way now, anyway. I hold myself carefully in person. I seem cold and aloof, but I’m far from this. I love deep and long.
But back to superpowers. However much I want mine to be invisibility, I think that’s a possibly selfish desire. And it’s also possibly one that’s arisen from a need to lick my wounds.
Because my real superpower is hope. Hopefulness.
I’m an optimist, and I believe, unashamedly, in magic. Hopefulness is a form of magic. And this hopefulness has stayed with me, even though at times it’s been a faint ember. It’s flickered weakly in the ashes, amidst a fair dollop of darkness, and death-preoccupied despair. In the past, I’ve held onto hope tightly during the touch-and-go hours, days, and weeks. Sometimes months. There were times it was nearly extinguished. Somehow hope stayed alight. You give it a little of what it needs, and it grows.
We need hope right now, don’t we?
We get up every morning. Perhaps we make a cup of tea. We trudge through our losses, our fears and worries. The terrible news that seems like a cruel joke, and an earth, in all its fierce intelligence and knowing that is not-so-silently weeping at our continued assault.
We scramble, and scratch, and try to survive. We lose those we love, and wonder wtf this life is about.
But if we look at this savage sweet existence, we see around us much to be hopeful for. It’s there, teeming in the pulse and desire, carnal or otherwise, of every soul. The birth of a child, an abandoned animal adopted, love imagined; a forest planted. Forgiveness – which I once thought weak and religiously laden, is in fact a sword that cuts a swathe through everything. Everything.
And there are those who need words of encouragement, and kindness, and we can’t be blind to that. We need to show ourselves, and not be isolated. Not remain invisible and withdrawn.
A generous word, being able to see the beauty in another, and recognising their super-powers – this is the hope and beauty we can easily grow. It has power. It makes real what we can so easily dismiss as mere ideas, or sneer at as useless idealism. Idealism isn’t actually a bad punt, right now.
It’s not hard to offer an encouraging word. It doesn’t cost us a thing. Then there’s a cascade of kindness, compassion. Respect for difference. And hope.
So every day, we trudge on, fearing that it’s all gone to hell in a hand-basket. But we can make something: a piece of art, or music, a loaf of bread. We can love our peoples hard, (all creatures included here). We can plant something. My giddy aunt! Do plant something. Then tomorrow, plant another thing. A tiny seed in a seed tray. A dream. Watch the earth creep back and reclaim what sustains us all.
There are those of us who sit here quietly watching, and hoping that the dreams of others will grow. I want to see others, (even if that sounds creepy, which it probably does). I want to see what they create – that feeds my hopefulness. For not just myself. But for my child, your children – literal or otherwise – and for a future and all its creatures. Seeing a web of hopes weave themselves together. Nothing is lost. Nothing’s for nothing.
It all matters. I refute those who say it’s nothing.
And today I was exhausted, but I remembered how much I love people. And I thought about many of you. And I rested, drank some tea, and I wished you all well and cared for.
I hope that you are making things that give you hope.
*although the cure is also possibly the disease.
**I don’t buy “exercise wear”, so I often walk/run about in ye olde gardening gear. Which is quite dire. But nobody has run away from me. Yet.
***Don’t worry, I won’t be offering anything like this. But I consider myself an expert in avoiding popularity, and search engine rankings : )
****a big reason I no longer see them. If you look in someone’s eyes, and they are incapable of saying a kind word to you, and they wear a hundred masks – you know it’s a lost cause. I now know that schadenfreude, (a joy in the misfortunes, unhappiness, or the pain of others) is born of a deep insecurity and damaged self-image. A soft, hurt, unkind thing. One that seeks to prop itself up with a false sense of superiority. I could write a whole post on schadenfreude, but not right now. I’d rather focus on hope and generosity, and send peace to those who can’t be generous toward others.