Island Blog – Farrago, A Walk, A Widow

I feel like I am walking backwards in terra incognita. I might thwack into Rara Avis, a hippogriff, a chimera, a story I cannot read, nor understand. I recall walking backwards into a lamppost once, and it hurt. My head spun a whole web leaving me feeling foolish and a little sick. It’s not so different now what with the re-run of Covid restrictions. We could move Christmas to June, I suppose, when the days are balmy and warm and quite unacceptable for the virus. Even my thisitive ponking is hiding in the attic and the windmills of my mind are moving too slow to grind the corn. Everything is so very confusing. But it’s not just that. It’s the longness of it all, the slogging grind of endlessment and with no wide horizon out there as a promissory note.

As I bounce into each morning, which I do, I meet the morning, usually half way down the stairs, in the place where Winnie the Pooh stops to think, or gets dropped by Christopher Robin. I never worked out which. The morning is most gracious, meeting and greeting me like this. It must be so much more rested in normal homes where folk rise with the light in a big fat panic because they can’t find their cufflinks or their art homework or their gym shoes. In this house the morning is never a panic, not any more, even if I do recall a few in my past life. What are you thinking? asks the morning as we meet in a socially distanced greeting. Oh, I reply, shucking off the dreams and turning to watch them scoot back up to the bedroom where they will plan another show for tonight….mostly Covid worries. Ah, yes. Of course. Well, you know you have to make your own decisions about what you do within a farrago. I nod. Coffee, I say, heading for the kettle which is also getting used to being woken early. I pass a lodger, hanging from her web, and I greet her. She isn’t fussed at my looking. She knows I won’t hurt her. I only swipe at the old webs, blackened by fire dust and long abandoned.

I walk with a friend and her dog. We plash through the puddles, noticing and commenting on the way the island sucks up any amount of rain, allowing it fraccess to slip-aways and into burns and water scurries, all finding the sea eventually. We will never sink, not this rock, not these island people with their stout boots and heart-strong spirits. We talk of life, of Christmas hopes, of Covid fears, of how we have managed to refuse defeat, even if we sometimes dip our heads into our hands and feel like nomads without any physical ground to traverse. It is all happening within our minds, the doubts, the confusion, the halter that tightens daily. And here we have control, as long as we exert that control. But, but and but, I twitter at her, I just don’t know what to do, what to decide. I, in theory, have family coming. I am longing for them. I don’t want to stop them. I would like to be a woman who is easy with the vast expanse of life but I am also engaged fully with the minutiae of life. Of course I flaming am! I was a wife, am a mother and grandmother and I learned quickquick that this was my role. If life had been down to himself, the whole scatterment of children would have spent their lives in the trees or floating out to sea in inappropriate boats. They would never have washed nor cleaned behind their ears. Their diet would have been white sliced bread and a fry-up, three times a day. Good Lord, of course I was all about the minutiae. However, this learned behaviour trips me up nowadays, particularly in these nowadays, inside this farrago, this dissolution of life as we knew it.

It wonders me. What, if (let’s play) I had become a widow in ordinary times, those times when we could go anywhere, see anyone, travel freely, guffaw around tables sharing breaths? Gosh, it might have been so much easier to walk a widow’s way. Maybe she would have found herself a bit quicker. Maybe after all that fannying about with minutiae, she might have pulled on her dancing shoes and spun around lampposts, spun new webs, spun just for the fun of it. Maybe. Ah, but I am open to learning, no matter the times. Perhaps these tougher times will find us stronger, more autonomous, more ready to outgo when outgoing is once more the normal. Farragos, in my experience, lose momentum and fade away eventually. Now why is that?

The human spirit is why. We are, let’s be honest, indestructible.

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