February 14, 2012

Whirring Cogs

Hello dear blog readers,

How doth thee fare? Well I do hope. Lately, my life has been a lot busier. What with three jobs, a market to plan and Spanish classes to take... I just don’t have enough time to tick everything off my ‘to do’ list. Next week promises to bring me a little more ease as I am leaving the school that I work for so that I might have some time in the evenings to read, eat kebabs and co-ordinate my life plans. Should eating kebabs become too regular a feature in my evenings, I recently acquired a city bike card so that I may ride my derriere into oblivion. Hoorah for happening times.

Now let’s get down to the point. I have some things to share. Yes yes I do indeed. So if you’ll kindly cast your minds back and recall my recent entry about a marvellous book I read. For those of you lazy bones who didn’t read my entry, I’m just going to repeat the passage here and set a little context... (It’s the teacher in me... you’ve always got to set a context!)

So I say this. Speak of them. Speak of those that died. Speak of all those who ever died - in all the world's history, in its wars, and long-lost days. Speak of those who met their deaths in Glencoe, in snow - not of their deaths, but of their lives before them. Not of how they died, but of how they bent to pat a dog's head, or what ballads they could sing, or what their skin was like by their eyes when they smiled, or which weather was their weather - for it keeps them living. It stops them being dead.

To do this - to speak or write of them - puts breath back in their mouths. It lifts them up from their earthy beds. It shakes off their worms and brings them forth, and they stand by the side of the one who speaks of them; they walk out of the pages of those who write them down. From the realm, they smile upon us. And their light is as bright as it always was. All the dead people - only, they are not dead.

When I read this, I totally loved it. I whipped out my finger and lovingly dog-eared the page. I have started doing this a lot lately. Dog-earing remarkable pages for future reference. So when I dog-eared this page, some dormant cogs in my head started to hum again. I have many different cog systems in my head but this particular set was initially formed in 2002 when my Grandmother passed away and they consistently start and stop with little fragments of inspiration; with small ideas that come to me during my waking and sleeping hours. Scribbled furiously in dozens of little notebooks are short poems, memories, regrets... I suppose in some ways, they are small outpourings of my grief, which seems only to accumulate with time. I have recently begun to expect that they are mounting to some kind of conundrum... either mental breakdown or some kind of written accomplishment. I hope more for the latter but it is becoming so persistent that I wonder if I am experiencing some kind of delayed trauma. I suppose that when someone dies as slowly as my Grandmother did, that death becomes a blessing. But with age has come little thoughts that eat and eat away at my insides. It is something that now is almost always on my mind. Should I forget to wear the ring that she gave me, I find myself absently rubbing the empty space on my finger and feeling unbearably anxious. Almost as if without it I am exposed; unprotected. When I am sick and in my bed, I find myself crying that I don’t have my little bell that she would give me to ring if I needed something.

As deep as this could go, re~reading the previous passage is starting to make me feel queasy. These are the cogs that whir and stop when it becomes insufferable. But I hope that these cogs might lead to something good. And, if you don’t mind, I think I would like to share the process with you. So over the coming year, you might just find little anecdotes and stories that are all leading to something bigger and better. Or, if they don’t, simply provide me with an outlet to practise writing and something for you to read on your tea break.

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