Postcard on 2nd January 2021

On Monday I go back to work… work I love by the way. Just suffering a bit from old mumbling narratives of head fuckery. 
I haven’t done enough with my time off… I haven’t refreshed like a delusional detox advert… I haven’t even detoxed at all… still running on too many diet cokes, even though they keep flying out of my hands and drenching the just made with clean sheets bed, or newly clean clothes, or books, cards…
I KNOW, I shout at the comedian teachers… I know, I’m just not quite ready to let go. As any addict knows, a decision needs to be made, to stop, to reduce by 2 a day, to start a planned reduction programme, whatever the plan, there has to be a decision. A date in the diary, and then the commitment to hold the boundary. I’m not making that decision. My diet cokes keep flying out of my hands. I am close. I am in negotiation with the comedians. I say, please don’t throw one over my laptop. I’m coming. I’m nearly there.

It’s not a moral judgement thing… it’s just got so bad I can’t even say my daily number of cans in public, though a few people know… I’m ashamed. My body is suffering… and, I don’t want to stop!

Welcome to all that, I bellow. 

I felt kind of Holy yesterday, for a bit anyway. Getting up, lighting every candle in the house as little flames of prayer, for all of us, for all of it, for the hopeless, wretched, broken and whole, with gratitude for all that I have: home, friends who really get and love me, enough money, though not a whole lot… food, warmth, my 7-legged non-human family. Myself, my teachers, everything… 

And, yet before long, I had dropped into a place I know well. It’s the weight of depression, without too much judgement. A place where I am weighted down, and not much seems to happen … I’m not sure if that’s true. The Jury is still in enquiry… but it is a place I don’t feel like anything is happening, nor very connected to aliveness… 

My very dear friend, Cath, was visiting later, and I had wanted to hang on to feeling Holy (in the Patti Smith sense you understand) but all that was open, had closed down. I tried to say: welcome to This, and maybe a little bit of welcome happened.

Cath came. I told her the above. 

Immediately, This relaxed, not gone nor banished, but included. It was precious to be with my heart sister. I was nourished. Still not entirely returned to the fully desirable, Holy place. 

What is this place I speak of? 
It’s being cracked wide open… I love it. I’m so entirely HERE. It’s sublime, not high or hyper, often very peaceful, often bringing such rivers of welcome tears… I do, both want more of it, and feel a should…. I’m exploring the matter.

This morning, I woke up under a blanket of doom. I didn’t want it but know so well the futility of that… a text arrives from my very dear friend and writing mentor, Rose, and in the sweet authenticity of our exchange, the light slipped in through the crack and I was in my heart.

Am I not in my heart when that crack closes again? I don’t think that’s true… but am questioning the tyranny of Presence & Connection. The Jury is still considering, and the true rigours of welcoming everything is throwing me around a bit. 

So, I got up. I had to get up. I have a responsibility to Leonard The Dog. I got up. Got dressed and washed and all that stuff. I listened to some of what’s going on in the world on the radio. I took Leonard to meet his friends, Shaun and Carol, who were taking him for his proper walk. I can walk, slowly, on pavement, up to a total at one time of approximately 2500 steps. 

I walked home, full of doom.

I started making order and peace out of Bed-World, and suddenly knew, no more world woe. I put Kate (now Kae) Tempest’s Book of Traps and Lessons on loud… this extraordinary long form poem in 9 parts, or tracks, or songs, as they are listed. Seriously, and I mean seriously, this is a piece that deserves to be listened to as the fucking amazing, complete thing that has been offered up to us.

I can’t always put music on, or open up my poetry books, because it is this that cracks me open. Every-time. And, like the Diet Coke, I don’t always want to feel so cracked open, even though I long to be so torn apart… 

A conundrum. Maybe the conundrum of my little life. Open and closed, contracted and undone… for now, I am exploring a little more deliberate use of the art that does tear me apart. I bought a Bose Bluetooth speaker in the Boxing Day sale, and now am going to begin every day with at least 1 or 2 songs. 

It is a heart strategy. It is discipline, in the discipline of practice kind of sense. 

Today, I have just kept listening to songs. I can’t do background music… I have to be willing to touched to the core. So, I washed clothes, cried, laughed, danced, my much more embodied, so sometimes barely dancing, dance… I have read some poems, some of Leonards, that I don’t actually need to see the words on the page to read, just be available to feel… I have washed Leonard The Dog, as he was delivered home with muddy in ascendancy. He forgives me for every shower.

Now, I am here in a darkening London bedroom, tip-tapping with no particular story to tell. Just a candle-lit postcard from the 2nd January 2021. Alongside my sweet smelling and beloved dog. 

I am here.

I am imagining each and every single one of us. All kin. All Here, each in their own direct experience of Here, some unthinkable, unspeakable, unbearable … I want to feel that thread of humanity that connects us all, even if I can only come and go with that.

It’s all I’ve got.

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