A pilgrim has to start somewhere and it’s usually the beginning. But who is to say where that beginning begins? I suspect it appears, this beginning, when something or everything needs to change and radically. To discover new lands a person needs imagination, possibly a boat, certainly new footwear and the courage to walk away from what was, when what will be is hiding in a forward fog. Turning pointless circles prior to a launch into the unknown is, well, pointless but I can turn pointlessly for months, scared of making any sort of wild song break, my imagination delivering witches, disasters and empty pockets each morning as I wake. I swing on a trapeze of should I, shouldn’t I until get airsick.
But Life is kindly and oh so patient. I can just see the eye rolling of this beneficent matriarch as she looks down on my swinging ditherments. She knows I have time on my side, but I don’t, so that every swither and dither eats away at me as I block my ears to the persistent knocking of opportunity on the door of my soul. I have writ before now on the slow ebbing away of my self-confidence #primarycarer and this ebbing thingy is all very well until it imprisons me. I go through the whole shebang inside my head, speak it out to no-one and why is that? I’ll tell you why. It’s because there is no-one who can truly fit their feet into my shoes. Even another primary carer is some distance away because of the human factor. I am not them, they are not me. I care for a someone and that someone is not their someone. My home is not theirs, my daily round not theirs and vice versa. Simples. But, pondering anything the shape of a dilemma all by myself just sets me a-spinning so that now I am dizzy and airsick.
However (love the flip of that word) holding on to the horns of a dilemma may give me an elevated view of the roads before me, but it will not offer me the chance to pilgrim. Pilgrims travel ground-fastened and alone as a rule, urged on by a dream for change and absolutely no idea what lies beyond the fog. Journeying in between worlds is what most folk never want to do. In fact, neither does the pilgrim. He or she would far rather google map the journey and know from the little red icon precisely where she will make new land, and when. Me too. But that is not how pilgriming works, more’s the pity. Instead there is fog, and if not fog, then a sharp-toothed slip wind and a lurk of roadside dangers whose eyes I cannot see through the tree-laden darkness.
I dilemma often. The bedside wraiths gather like judges around me at first light. They only have to give me that look, the one that tells me I absolutely cannot do this thing, which might be a very small thing or a circus tent sized thing, and, ps, I am an utter fool for even thinking I can. And I am defeated. But not for long, and why is that? Because I get straight out of bed, shoo the undead away and pull on a pretty frock. Even when it’s blattering rain outside and the flowers dip their fragrant petals in submission; even when I just know that something will happen today that is beyond me and that I will need to boot up and deal with it; even after a turbulent non-sleep and the sudden remembering of a bill unpaid; even when the echo of yesterday’s guilt won’t stay in yesterday, even then.
Life is for dancing through. I will not trudge across the stumbleground of this day in a sensible mac pushing bodily through the waterfall that the rest of you call rain. No. I will not. I will dance. Music, song, beginnings, middles, fog, all of it pilgrim fodder. And I have no intention, nor do I have the right, to let Life slip along without my eyes on her every moment. She gave me heart, lungs, backbone and freedom.
And the eyes in the tree-laden darkness could well be friends.