These are troubled times. We’re entering a winter which feels more metaphorical than equinoxial, wrapped in a suffocating blanket of bad news. And I don’t even know what anything I just wrote even means, that’s how troubled I am.
But here’s another metaphor for you, which I have just thought about: the working week feels like a trip in the open sea, during a low level storm. Week-ends are all too spaced-out buoys. And I’m talking as someone in work, for whom the distinction is still meaningful, but who like pretty much everyone else now lives in the expectation of not having a job at some point or other.
Yesterday, Sunday, Husband and I got up with nowhere we had to be and no to-do list (beyond the light-duty, 23-40 items one I always have going) and took our time making coffee without our glasses on, (always a joyful adventure that, even in our own minuscule home), enjoying the feeling of standing around, zombie-like, in our nightclothes and unwashed faces.
The world outside had disappeared beyond a strangely luminous mist, as if the sun was trying to wave just behind it.
We put on our trainers and went for a run in the park. It felt at time like running through a cloud. It was cold but bearable, and sounds were muffled every bit as colours. Quite dream-like, really, had I not been my usual tired/heavy/achey self.
The park was quite alive with all sorts of creatures: enormous hairy dogs, stupid with happiness, the usual flocks of obese pigeons, the aggressive grey squirrels who do not give an inch, in fact always seem poised to mug you as you pass. Children in buggies, old people in wheelchairs and their coterie of middle aged able bodies bipeds carrying, fetching, pushing and dragging. All going about their business, in the mist, as if it were nothing unusual.
Seven panting kms later we came back with the papers and a block of cheese.
After lunch I planted some tulip bulbs in the post in the back garden. Not deep enough and without any of the gritty sand you are supposed to have at the bottom. It was a half-assed effort, you could say. The trouble is I lack the faith required to plant things, the necessary suspension of disbelief. It seems an act of magic. Maybe something will grow, as my in-laws promised, but I don’t quite believe it. Besides right now it doesn’t feel like it will ever be spring again.
He spent the rest of the afternoon slaying orcs and playing his guitars, I read the Observer downstairs taking in a few more horrendous statistics about joblessness, and warnings about the incoming recession, the possible disintegration of the Euro/EU and the likely Iranian Armageddon.
The mist never lifted or evaporated. Eventually, by four o’clock, the sun gave up waving from behind and went to sleep.
Tomorrow we are back at sea.