149 – another Prime Number – indivisable by any number other than 1 or itself.
I like that. That’s me. Others may suggest alternative descriptions of something or someone so resolutely singlular, not many of which would raise me high on any Christmas card list. Words like Selfish, Stand-Offish, Stubborn, Thoughtless, Narcissistic, Ego-Centric and so on and so fourth and fifth and sixth. You get my jist.
But (and there’s always a few of them) in order to carve a furrow along which I am happy to walk, I have to be the one to carve it. No, no, not that way! they might cry. Look, see, here’s a nice womanly path, one full of other nice womanly dudes with behaviour manuals and clean tea towels in their well-ordered drawers. One look is enough for me.
How I have managed to love love love being a wife and mother of many, whilst maintaining my singularity is a puzzle to me. Actually I didn’t manage that maintaining thing to be honest whilst living in the melee. It was a question of forward motion at all times to avoid being crushed, but now, with hindsight, I can see that my intense and consuming need to be singular, even in those times, kept talking to me – an internal sustaining dialogue, despite the requirements of hostessing, mothering, catering and, against humungeous odds, domesticating those in my precarious care.
Anyone who has forged ahead in life has to be of singular persuasion. Forging ahead and tidy tea-towel drawers probably argue with each other. Now, shall I forge today or tidy my tea-towel drawers?
Some might say there are those who could do both and in the same day, but I doubt it, because the whole thing about forging is that it decides not only what you do or where you go, but who you are, your choice of path. Consequences arise inevitably. For example…..if I choose not to cook supper because I am busy writing, which is important to me, this ‘me’ who is completely forging and not a bit hungry, I may well upset you who are:
b. Not a little irritated that I have abandoned my post.
c. Alarmed at this turn of events, and concerned that, if ‘allowed’ this turn may take an unhealthy hold on me.
If I continue to walk this path it will eventually become the norm, expected and, to a degree, accepted.
Really? Well my mother never told me that and nor did anyone else by the way Jimmy (certainly not him), but it doesn’t mean I can’t learn it now. Anyone can learn it now, any now, however grey and worn and old and tired. People who decide to make a change will always find a guide when they need one. Thing is, you have to take the first and scary step.
When a volcano erupts, it doesn’t ask permission. ‘Oh, now, sorry to bother you, but would it be okay if I erupt next Tuesday night about 10pm, hmmm?’
When a glacier decides to move along a bit, causing masive tidal chaos, seals to flip overboard and huge ships to bonk their noses, it doesn’t check with anyone first. It just moves.
These are prime events, huge events with consequences for us all, and, of course, barely related to any human ‘forgings’, but they illustrate my point to a degree. If I wait for permission to forge, when my internal voice is hot enough to bend steel, then what on earth is my life all about? I may well be remembered at the wake as a Good Woman (with tidy drawers) who was kind to everyone, never said NO, and certainly not in capitals, and who always put others first, which, in my opinion, says only a small thing about me. The BIG THINGS are :
What did I do with my life?
How did I make a difference?
What legacy do I leave and who will learn some wonderful new freedom for themselves, by observing my work?
If the answers are Not Much, Didn’t, and Not Much, then all I have done is make a sandwich.
We are born of Fire and carved by Ice, like mountains. We might take a little trip inside ourselves and remind ourselves of that.