Journal 16th Jan
I love today's date. Can't wait for June 6th, see what the media does with that to freak us all out even more than usual.
I am so happy today I even put the cutlery away.
I bought a cheap CD of '21 classical favourites' last night and played it this morning as I was writing. The urge to sugar plum across the living room was overwhelming, then a big swooshy waltz came on. Irresistible. I do five rhythms, dancing like nobody's looking is second nature to me now. Especially if nobody actually is looking.
But it really hit me when I was cooking some mushrooms for brunch. Three shitake and three button. I remembered reading yesterday that the required daily allowance of B12 is in just three button mushrooms. There we are paying through the nose for pills full of talc and all we need is three button mushrooms. The ancient Chinese were so wise. (The modern ones ain't so daft either.) Mushrooms are mystical powerhouses of health and healing.
I was cooking them, stirring them gently, thinking how clever they are when they turned from that glowing white dry rawness to glossy translucent things of beauty. Like an heirloom string of pearls, gloriously feminine and free in their silky swirling. The glory of them. The innocence of them, and so sensual at the same time. Like when silk slides off a shoulder. They filled me up with the beauty of the world. The amazing magic that it is everywhere in it. All as it should be.
The eggs I buy, I buy for the colour of their shells. It's ridiculous. People are starving but I buy eggs because they are pale green or blue and beautiful. Will anyone not starve today if I buy brown-shelled eggs? If I have the choice, should I not make the choice that feeds my soul as well as my body just because some people don't have any choice? Even if my choice brings me closer to their situation?
The thing is, I do nothing but ponder on their situation and buy Fairtrade bananas. I don't pay for a goat, I don't sponsor a child, I don't even plant anything other than for my own garden. That's what really grinds. I know it yet I don't act on it. That's why my integrity calls me out. It's not that I should buy brown eggs because it doesn't make any difference. It's that I don't do anything other than buy blue and green ones. Lesson in the eggs. Of what my true self would rather I did.
There is a podcast on the Guardian website and they were talking about buying a goat for a family in Africa as a Christmas present for someone in this country. The gift that gives. They said, the thing is, you buy the goat thinking it's going to have a lovely life and everybody is happy, but they're starving, they'll eat the goat. The poor goat, you're giving someone a murdered goat for Christmas.
It was funny.
I still didn't buy anyone a goat. In this country or anywhere else. I think I'll look at that, find some way to make change that doesn't leave me cold and act on it. On the list.
Random acts of kindness.
And bluegreen eggs with impunity.
I came back from the country bumpkins to find that we have a recycling scheme in our street now. No more paper mountain as I forget to take it with me when I go out. Black boxes for cans, plastic and glass and a paper and cardboard bag. Fabulous. Change is afoot. Not just me then.
Would it have killed them to make the box purple though. I may have to customize it. Tins of spray paint and sparkly dragonfly stickers. On the list.
This is my first week working through 'The Artist's Way'. It made me cry by page 3. One of the most beautiful things I've ever read:
"Every blade of grass has it's Angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow'.
First day of 'morning pages' and the job I'd like to have this week is TV gardener. Bought a new veggie growing magazine which has a free packet of purple brussels sprout seeds. Also bought a big bunch of flowers that look like vegetables.
They are wee mini long stalked cabbage flowers, the size of an old fashioned rose. They are glorious. Green veined cabbage leaves, white in the middle with damask pink blushes on the tips of the white leaves. They came with delicate feathered plume grasses I've never seen before, and long purple stalks that look like giant incense sticks. It's a gorgeously classy bouquet for a fiver or so. Well done Asda.
I will create my veggie garden plan this week and read only about seeds, plants and the naming of same.
Well maybe not only, but mostly.
Will be gorgeous, get no actual earth on my hands, dress like Rachel de Thame, and swish my hair like she does.
And get someone else to do the heavy digging.
That'll sort the telly bit out.
I've to take my creative self out on a hot date each week. It had to be something where I'd be forced to sit still and listen, not talk, not think, not have access to words of any kind.
Plus no access to pudding.
Last week I saw 'The Beat That My Heart Skipped'. The movie didn't affect me at all, but the music, my God. The piano music in it was so fabulous, I have it on the list to buy some Bach and Haydn on payday. So it seems obvious that live classical music is to be my date. And the Universe ballet dances over to meet me in the Guardian guide. This Friday night the BBC orchestra is in Aberdeen. I forget what they're playing, that doesn't matter anyway, what matters is, it's a new experience. I hope I don't cry. I cried the first time I went to the ballet and the opera. Live music, especially sweeping strings, does that to me. Too bad if I do. Sometimes TV gardeners cry.
The morning pages. Three pages of spilling everything out of your head before you do anything else. Longhand. I was reluctant to do that. I thought I'd have nothing to write about if I wrote it all out in the mornings. I'm not allowed to read them for eight weeks, what if a great idea comes to me and I forget it, what if I dry up, what if my fire goes out? Worst of all, what if I get bored and don't want to write any more?
Like all my monkey-minded fears, these ones were unfounded. Instead, I got all inspired, dancey and happy, with my semi-precious mushrooms.
It was a joyful religious experience. Dancing with God.
Lo! Fear not! For it came to pass that morning pages begat more pages and those pages begat blogs which begat stories which begat poems.
As it ever was, and shall be forever more.
That's how it is with words.
Even archaic ones.