Over the past few days I have been in a bit of a flummox. My eyes decided they didn’t want to look very hard at anything much and closed their curtains to the world. It wasn’t an infection, more a rather irritating refusal to open wide enough to read, to write or to fix a new washer on a chair for the disabled, one which was necessary, but which required nimble fingers and good strong eyesight. This morning I achieved all three. However, the Wifi here is still revolting, leaving us both abandoned on the shores of the island with no steady flow of power through which to communicate, and the discipline required to accept this limitation requires us to dig very deep. We have watched TV in patchy spurts, sent emails that never arrived despite them flying the nest, been unable to respond immediately, or at all, to any Whatsapp message from family, and only heard a few minutes of an interesting and dynamic radio programme, the speaker stopping suddenly as if they had been shot.
The frustration is immense, but we endeavour not to let it rise like bile. As we all know, everything man-made is sortable, from washers to Wifi. All we must do is persist in our attempts to locate the right person for each job and to lure them in. This takes time, their time, and their time is not our time. I believe the problem arose when we had to plug more things into the router. The Fall Alarm Machine and the Pacemaker Machine. It looks like a labrynth to me although I am a fool around such complex technology (another frustration) and therefore dependant on a.n.other for their easy understanding and their ability to pull a few things out, fiddle about with the wiring and then to stick said wires into the right holes in the right order. According to those who know about the alarms, there should be no problem. They have never encountered this before, this issue, the one that tells me there is too much demand on too low a power source. After many calls to our service provider, there is now a replacement router on its way. We shall see what comes of that.
I could do without this extra problem and so could himself. After all, a good Wifi connection is a simple ask, you might think, and so very much depends on its continuous flow. I agree that it is a lovely thing, no connection to the stratosphere if I am away on holiday in a place that just doesn’t need it, nor want it, but at home this is not the case. At home it is a continual upset and my heart sinks as the cry goes up from the outside of Woman’s Hour, from a discussion that is interesting to himself and one that suddenly stops dead in its tracks. His peace is my peace and the disruption of that peace feels almost like a personal attack. I discipline myself to remain calm as the frustration makes him lash out, not with his arms but with his words. It isn’t my fault. Or is it? Did I make enough calls to the service provider? If they say they are sending a new router, will they? And when is whatshisname coming to plug it all in? Will he come at all?
I feed the birds and listen to their chatter on the fence. I watch the sky burgeon into a cloud fest, the heralds of imminent rain, closing over the blue. I look as the tide pulls in her skirts so that I can see her underpinnings of kelp and rocks. Mist swirls over the hilltops like smoke and the trees stand stock still, waiting for whatever happens next. The Wifi light flashes on the router. You’re on your way out, mate, I tell it. My eyes feel grainy, but better than they did a week ago. Everything passes after all. My head is full of what will happen when I go away next weekend if this Wifi thing is not sorted, if the alarm machines cannot be plugged in. I read a poem by Mary Oliver, a chapter by Pema Chodron, an essay on being calm by Rebecca Solnit and I silently thank them all for their experiential wisdom. This day will bring what this day will bring. Frustrations and moments of laughter, calm and inner uprisings, successes and failures however much I long to arrive at a sustainable place of acceptance. But I am only human. Able to rise to a situation and unable to, at different times. Caught up in responses to familiar upsets and the voice of calm and reason. I believe in order, but I can find my way through chaos. Life is not about one or the other. If it were so, we would all be deadly boring, inflexible, astonished on a regular basis at anything out of order. We would be caught up in expectation, based on our own perceptions and, in my experience, expectation always leads to disappointment. Hope, on the other had is free gratis. Hope is a wonderful thing. Hope is how I approach this day with dodgy Wifi and grainy eyes. Hope looks me outside of my box, myself, my little life. Hope tells me all will be well. All that is required of me is that I keep moving through whatever lands on my shoulders, from bird droppings to a colourful lei, and to always remember the power of a shared smile.