It’s been an odd few months.
I’ve undergone – and fully recovered from – invasive surgery, placed my faith in fellow human beings who would render me unconscious and safely return me to the real world. Ever the realist, I found myself making preparations for the worse case scenario. One where I don’t have a voice to be heard. I put my house in order. Made a new will, left instructions, wrote down a zillion passwords so that someone could access my digital world and methodically shut things down. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? But it’s little more than coming to terms with that frail, not always clearly defined line that separates our being here, and not. In the event a defective part of me was removed and disposed of. A miracle of modern medicine was performed, at no financial cost to me, courtesy of our treasured NHS. In short, I feel fine.
So, what have I been up to, since May? Well, I just haven’t felt like blogging all that much. I have wanted to write. In fact I have written briefly and far too often, on Facebook. Although I share more than I write, because the shared items carry a message or opinion more keenly observed and better articulated that anything I might spend hours cobbling together. But I’m currently doing a digital detox – anything I write here doesn’t count. I have issued sternly written notes to self about wasting time on social media, getting embroiled in pointless debates that lead nowhere and solve nothing. I’m trying to turn myself around to face what needs doing, some proper writing. A good friend, currently residing in Baltimore, pointed out that if I have enough discipline to hang out on Facebook with such frightening frequency, I should be able to re-channel the effort required for multiple posting, into something more substantial. He’s right, of course. So I’m trying really hard, and the word count is rising, slowly but very surely.
Image: Hand’s-free by Martin Hodges
When I’m stumped for something to say, increasingly I turn to creating images. Usually something snapped on the phone camera. I find that images can be extremely effective in bridge-building toward the words I need to continue writing. I’ll bet I’m not alone in this.
Aside from writing, I’ve been catching up on my reading. A few days ago I saw an article about Violette Leduc, which got me thinking about the number of female authors now sitting on the bookshelf here at home. I’ve just finished reading Crudo by Olivia Laing, and enjoyed it immensely. Before that, I devoured Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem after watching a Netflix documentary about the author, herself. I would highly recommend the documentary even if you don’t read her wonderful writing. Currently, I’m devouring My Name is Leon, by Kit de Waal.
It’s my intention to blog more often. As I say, it’s been an odd few months.