Even though the sky was cloudless for most of last week; even though it was the type of blue sky you would only expect to see in a Mediterranean summer it was a challenge to be cheery. Funny how the world can carry on in all its glory, announcing itself daily like the backdrop in a musical while inside I am all it’s a brilliant blue sky, a wonder of nature, but what do you want me to do, write a song about it?
Turns out I needed a bit of a break. I was beginning to feel that unfocused way I do before my mood begins to plummet, where as I walk I can sometimes imagine my skin splitting apart like an overripe peach and everything that I am running out onto the pavement.
You recognise the signs after a few years and the best way to deal with it is to stop.
All week I was prepared to hate everyone and everything. I was convinced the world was going to hell in a handbasket but wouldn’t you know it that lil’ ole world of mine became intent on proving me wrong.
There is good stuff among the bad. Always.
Like kookaburras, my favourite Aussie birds, filling the sky with their laughter every morning. It is a rare occurrence to see them in the inner city and hearing their call is like being plunged deep into the heart of the bush.
(You can listen to the kookaburra laugh here.)
Kookaburras have a presence that is almost regal and they inspire the same kind of affection as a loyal, trustworthy dog.
Then there was the honest dialogue between an old friend and I for the first time in ages. We had a bit of a falling out over her Christianity. The born again kind. I have nothing against Christianity at all but please, don’t try and convert me every five minutes. It does nothing but get my back up. This old friend admitted to me – actually admitted – that I am one of the most spiritual people she knows and that even though I am not a Christian she admires the way I live my life. Well, knock me down with a feather, Heather. I was grateful she admitted it. I know how hard it would have been for her, me being a heathen and all.
I also got some fabulous poetry from Rachel Fox. That girl is so talented. It was such a thrill for me to get a parcel with a Royal Mail postmark all the way from Scotland. It made me feel so good to get those poems. It always lifts my spirits to experience the creative spark of another person. Thank you, Rachel.
I am getting a new digital camera courtesy of my father-in-law. It has a zoom lens and I am pretty sure I will be able to take macro shots with it. My aim is to take birds in flight and drops of water on flowers. Deep down I am actually rather arty farty. Yes, you heard it here first.
Don’t tell my husband, but I am enjoying listening to our record collection again. For many years we didn’t have a record player and when he bought one recently I was all what a waste of money, we’ll never use it. I have been secretly listening to records while he’s at work. I mean, he doesn’t need to know I have changed my mind about it, does he? There is nothing worse than a music purist being proved right. Today I listened to Ella Fitzgerald sing Gershwin. It was so good I almost cried. And yes, vinyl has a much richer sound than CD.
I ran into a former student of mine who is now 40. Can you believe it? I am only five years older than one of my students. I started teaching when I was 22 and he was in the senior English class at 17. He said I inspired him to be a writer and is quite successful in the theatre. I felt so moved because I had no idea anyone was actually paying attention to me in that English class. It was a tough crowd. You just never know how things are going to turn out.
So there I was, walking around like Eeyore with the cloud above me and the universe kept conspiring to lift my spirits.
The powers that be have made me realise it is never really time to admit defeat.
That it’s always possible to see the light at the end of the tunnel even if you have to squint hard.
That bad as it can get, it’s good too.