Journal 14th Nov
Monday 14th November
Was driven out to the country bumpkins yesterday. Arrived to a parcel, from LB. A tape of chill out songs and a copy of 'The Little Prince', with an inscription. I love that and I always forget to do it when I give someone a book.
Why are men so good at making up tapes? The true difference between the sexes. The made up tape.
This morning, a raspberry ripple striped sky got me up, could my spirits be up higher? Perhaps, if an email from green eyes comes.
I come downstairs, every window streaming beauty non stop. 24*7.
There is a duck and a chicken, a drake and a rooster actually, and they are taking a stroll. 7.44am. They are bosom buddies. Chatting, walking at the same pace, one waddling, one bobbing. The drake is Chandler, the rooster, Jenny - mistake when he was born and they thought he was a she. Monica is a duck of a different breed, if they mate, their offspring will be sterile. But they ain't mating. The drake is a rooster wannabe and looks up to him.
Never at Monica.
Chandler appears to be black as Daffy, but he's bottle green really. Flashes of blue, those petrol rheumy colours in the sunshine. Not today though, today he's black, coz the sun isn't out. It's over the hill to the South, behind the Renaissance white wispy clouds and tree silhouettes, a duck egg blue and yellow glow. The little things that make life sweet. Standing, early Winter morning, watching the drake and the rooster toddle to breakfast while a wee robin pinches their food. The early bird.
It's a Heathcliff windy day today. Winter is here, the yellow gold of Autumn has gone, the soft white-blue of Winter has arrived. The difference a week makes. I went into hospital in Autumn, came out to Winter. I remember the tree from the hospital window, the birds that woke me up there with their tweeting at the feeders. The medicine they were to me. To my body and soul. There is a huge yew, captain of this part of the garden, to the right. Can we ever be grateful enough for the trees and the birds.
The indoor light casting welcoming yellow glows, like candlelight. How will I ever go back to work after this?
Listening to the tape LB sent. Duck nodding hello through the floor to ceiling windows on his round the house patrol, I know, I am the luckiest gal I know.
When you stay with other people for a while you get new influences. Recipes you'd never known, music you'd never heard. Themes that will remind you of them always. The day I went into hospital, lucky sevens, Kate brought out a new CD. Good omen. Reasons to wake up. Kate Bush has a new CD. Waiting for me when I got out to the countryside.
It's my theme for recovery. For gratitude. For my 'yes'.
Well CD2 is. Not at all sure about CD1.
Lucky Sevens. Seven cats live in this house. All named for trees. (Wal)Nut and Zinga (Zinga bow the proper name for a ginger plant) are my most frequent visitors. Cherry is the beauty, grey and smoky fluff. She'd look great in cherry red. Nootka (a kind of spruce), Sitka, Ash, Holly.
And now Hazel.
I am cat number 8. Freshly neutered.
If anyone else said that, I'd punch them.
I join right in, feline-style. When I need to lie down and curl up tight. I do. When I need to eat. I do. When I need to sleep, I do. When I've had enough of you, I'm off. To silence and a special pink haven.
I am cat number 8.
For a while.
I'm sitting in the best kitchen chair - great view of who's coming and going, and most importantly, in felineland, nearest to the food and radiator. Cat chair. Nut is not amused, she can't sit on my lap, I can't lift her off. Or on. Equally frustrating. They want to pad and lay down on my belly. I'd like that too. I miss having a cat. But they can't. Not for a while. So she sits, sentry like, to my right, on the table as I type. Occasionally, we touch foreheads.
There are few things better, when you're a bit poorly, than when a cat comes to visit. So independent, when they pop up on the side of the bed or over your keyboard chirping in that 'whatcha doin'?' way they do, it's so sweet, it fills me up. All the time, you can hear their thoughts, not whatcha doin, so much as and how long until I can get you off that chair or sit on you for a heat?
If they could stroke their chins, they would.
Master planners, cats.
Nice to wake up to a chirping cat saying hello. Not so nice to hear it lapping your water straight from your glass, and find yourself wondering how long that's been going on¦
I brought a pure wool blanket with me. I don't want to go into bed when I'm resting in the day. I'm not sure what that's about, laying down under the blanket is submission enough. The blanket is creamy white with a big check tartan in rose pink and so cosy.
A favourite with the cats.
Dreams. I wake up crying. I go to sleep crying. It's the anaesthetic apparently, makes a person weepy. Nothing to do with the gardener back in my head. Via my dreams. The unfinished symphony. I dream he's coming towards me and I think he's going to hug me, but he walks right past. Another dream, he stands in front of me, pain on his face, unable to speak, his body shaking, and I grab him by his sweater and pull him towards me, both of us hanging on. It's the same pose my mother takes with me, standing in front of me. Never speaking. Desperate to connect. Perhaps it's her I'm dreaming about. I read that we are every character in our own dreams, even the monsters chasing us.
But I have such sadness over that man. Still. In the middle of this, in all of this, the core of me cut out. He comes. Not the lack of green eyes, not LB and his presents, but him. Still.
To switch him off, I play the meditation on my iPod. And marvel at the technology that can take your world anywhere. Meditation, chill out music, Tibetan bowls, audio books if you fancy a story (don't choose 'The Historian' if you do), and all the mood-altering music you need. Essential for a hospital stay; an iPod and a lip salve and you're laughing.
All in your pocket, or clipped to your pink heart jammies. Watching the birds soaring on a windy day, listening to how Kate sampled them. How an iPod can save your life.
We are so lucky to live in 2005.
"You gotta open up your heart
That's all I know¦
¦and when you open up your heart
You get everything you need