Gosh nine days since my last post. No dramas, bruises from the fall in the kitchen healing up nicely. The days slip by much the same, struggles to engage with the day and get up, followed by meetings with friends, a bit of work, reading, trying to keep the house vaguely clean and tidy (that one’s a losing battle that I don’t much care about) a long term battle to get enough sleep and days and weeks slip by.
Then a perky notification drops into my blog comments – happy anniversary, a year since I started blogging. That’s a surprise, doesn’t seem that long and yet in the strange way time is elastic, seems a lot longer. Read through the year of blogs and many of the same themes emerge. Reluctance to accept the dramatic changes to my life since diagnosis of serious illness; roller coasters of energy, mostly low; delight and gratitude for the generosity and support of friends; attempts to build a new life from the wreckage of the old one; hope and despair in pretty equal measures; determination (not always possible) not to drown in self-pity; the power of culture in all its forms to cheer the soul; sadness at selling Mum’s house and her now being in a nursing home; attempts to start writing my memoir (failed); wrestling with paperwork (work in progress); rage at hobbling around and using a stick.
The blog itself helps enormously – firstly to chronicle the days and their events. When your world has slowed down to a pace a sloth would find too racy, you notice much more, small interactions with people take on new significance. So I missed the bus yesterday, because I can’t approach a run these days and so got talking to a homeless man outside the supermarket. It was freezing and he told me matter-of -factly that he’d slept in the street as he’d been too late for the hostel. No self-pity, he’d been on the streets for twenty three years. Then he asked me how I was. Seemed impertinent to moan, though I was feeling a bit moany, what with the cold weather biting my joints. So I just said I was a bit stiff. He had a book and we got into a real conversation about reading and literature and he had clearly read a lot and had some perceptive insights into what he read. The bus came and I gave him what change I had and was grateful for my warm coat and the money for the bus.
The blog also keeps my friends in day to day touch with what’s going on. So when I meet up with them and start on an anecdote, I always have to check whether they’ve seen the blog recently, as there’s nothing worse than repeating stories. And any dramas are quickly picked up with phone calls and texts.
But most of all it keeps me in touch with a part of myself that feels as though it has disappeared; the woman who loved to write. This is the closest I get these days as I don’t have the energy to work on anything bigger.
And for a writer, there’s no greater joy than seeing the magic of words appearing on the page.