Right this minute I am sitting on a soft comfy chair in a vast expanse of lounge with a load of friendly staff being silent but vigilant in the peripheries and a seriously marvellous cold and hot buffet at the bows. The Ladies, alone, proffers facial creams, fragrances and enough room for a private shower, plus real towel and real flowers in the corner. I idly wonder if the Gents proffer the same.
I am, unbelievably, at the airport. Glasgow Airport. My first time in Business Class. I just know the whole experience will change my travel plans, my long haul travel plans, for ever. Not only was I collected by a delightful chauffeur in a grey Mercedes from the door, but, then, he saw me, all flaky and wrong-footed and everything shoved into a basket, through security, where, to my astonishment, I was not sent home with a report marked COULD DO BETTER.
After a couple of miles gently, and politely, gliding through an immovable concrete shoal of group travellers, I found myself walking into silence. These people went left. These, right, until there was just me with my overfilled basket and jump shoes looking like (yes I did) an ageing and displaced hippie. Finally, Emirates ~Lounge. The doors opened and my name was mentioned with a welcome. Flip me……..I showed my ID and that was that. No matter how much my basket overflowed I was welcome. The well-cooked food, the smiles, the space, the peace and comfort….well none of that I have ever experienced before and I am glad that, this time, I have.
I consider the word Traverse. It actually means ‘crossing’ like a rock face or something you need to cross but sideways, like a crab. If I think of caring for dementia as a traverse, it makes perfect sense. Although the strong rock face of a relationship, long term, is, well, strong and rock-faced, I now need to traverse it, like spiderwoman because otherwise I would fall into the cracks and be lost. I must keep versatile and adaptable. So I move to the outside of something I have always been deep in the inside of. It has felt like abandonment at times, that pulling backwards, that moving outside of the rock base, and, at times, I had no idea I was doing it, but, now, I see the sense of it. I want to survive this, and not because I can see a new life ahead, but because I can’t. And I need more wildlight for looking; a red dawn, a stomp of grumpy grey, a rise of snowhills, a lazy stretch of maybe clouds, a moonface, backlit, upsetting my sleep.
Tomorrow I will land in the bush, in Africa where my son will spin me round in his big strong arms and I will be safe as houses for two glorious months of crazy insects, colourful birds, a new tattoo and loads of warmth and space and reading and dance and music and Spring.
Bring it on Glasgow, for you and me…..we begin the traverse from here.