Sunday morning, brilliant sunshine, frost on the fields. I woke up to the usual emotional tsunami, not least self reproach at making so little of so much inner turbulence. But perhaps today, I will do more than drown. Perhaps today I'll tap out a blog. Surf each wave of "If only" with a mantra: "I can and will."
Firstly, let me share my guide to keeping my head above waters of misery, regret, self-loathing: you know these seas of bitterness and anguish:
1 Be brave (get out of bed and stick your nose into the world).
2 Be kind.
3 If there's someone in your life, you love, love them wholeheartedly.
4 Make someone laugh.
5 Make something.
6 From the end of Anne Michael's novel, 'Fugitive Pieces': Learn to give what you most need.
My town, like yours no doubt, has a shaming number of homeless people, some hardly visible beneath makeshift bedding and pitiable possessions stuffed in plastic bags. It costs nothing to have a word, costs little to hand over a coffee and a sandwich. And again, the stories I hear touch me and, yes, hand me a lifeline. One amazing friend, sick of the failure of the "system" faced the problem head on and bought a homeless person a caravan. Could I emulate her? If this is way outside my scope, at least today, I can talk to the woman on the bus who travels into town every day from an isolated village and who spends busless Sundays staring from her window and hoping her daughter will call. Can I ask someone I know in that village, to knock on her door?
And perhaps I can raise a smile by sharing Dorothy Parker's poem "Résumé" with you?
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
Come on, you moodscopers out there: join me as I swim to the sandbank, I know that just as I'm about to drown, one of you will throw me an inflatable.
A Moodscope member.