This is a soft and silver time of inbetween.
The day is just dawning here on England’s south coast. I like to sleep with the window open, and sitting in bed typing in my tiny room I smell the cold and the rain, the fragrance of cool water, the freshness of new day. I think of the peaceful leaves in the garden, dark green and lime and dappled and yellow, dripping in the dew rain fog of morning. Diamonded with stripey-sock-spider webs frissoning in the movement of air. The sky is silver purple blue and heavy with cloud. I love the quiet and serene cold in this dawn.
Here in my room the colours are muted. My tiny room is big with shadows, the walls indeterminate soft green grey, the carpet soft vague, the colour of skin. Around the room the murmured shades of wood and leather, paper and wool, cotton and clay. The clothes hanging on my door are purple, black and dark green. My linen curtains are ivory and aubergine, ochre and green. My bed linen is tobacco brown. I am snuggled in my old grey hoodie fleece. It is vast. I love it.
Inbetween. Waiting for the sunrise. Waiting to have my teeth fixed this afternoon. Waiting for the rain to end so Joe can fix the path. Waiting for my publishers, who have had my manuscript this long year long, to say if they feel they can work with it – a passionate story of near the bone reality. Waiting to know if it may be the case that I shall begin preaching again. Waiting for the time to come to conduct this difficult funeral on Friday, with its fathomless depths and dark shards of grief and unbearable loss and its shining surface of professionalism and control. Waiting to know what it feels like to stand in that gaze of so many eyes whose sorrow demands perfection as the price of pain (it is difficult sometimes, conducting funerals!!). Waiting for it to be time to go and wash and start the day without disturbing the sleep of the household. Waiting for it to be time to catch the bus to Battle for my beautiful mama’s happy birthday today. Waiting and watching as she grows old – 85! – and brooding over her child soul with its charm and devastating insecurities, praying that old age will hold her hand considerately, and death when it comes will lift her in her sleep so light and gently cradled she never feels the movement through the air. How soft and silver is old age. Waiting . . . returning again and again to wisdom lessons I really know but have not persevered with. Breathing waiting breathing, returning patiently to the aliveness of wisdom I know, picking up the hidden and unsignalled discipline of the quiet holy – Lord, help me to grasp what you hold out; love, patience, cheerfulness. Help me to follow the light. I bless the silent grey smell of this dove soft silver day slipping unobtrusively out of its sheath of shadow into light. May we, whose day it is, make it beautiful.
A room oil thingy. I think this was quite useful in an occasional sort of way, but hey, you just get desperate surrounded by all these items.
Two VHS tapes. For some reason they won’t fit in the DVD slot . . .
A cellular blanket. Pretty shade of blue. I wonder if we’ll be cold without it? I don’t think so. We can wear fleeces in bed and snuggle up to each other if we are. Aye, and bedsocks, and hot water bottles . . .
Oh good, three more pillowcases. They made good bags to put clothes in for the charity shop.
Six white pillowcases. I have need these multi-give-aways, because I’ve bought some new clothes recently. Hmm, yes, and some books – and it’s one-in-two-out, remember?
A dear little Japanese cooking pot I fell in love with and bought. Nothing more to say about it really. I expect some other woman fell in love with it in the charity shop.
Friends and family sometimes make use of me as a kind of rubbish chute. Stuff they no longer want, they give to me, so they don’t have to feel guilty at its disposal. I don’t mind too much except when they do it on my birthday – give me their old junk as a birthday present, I mean. And even then the audacity kinda makes me smile. Anyway, this Victoriana came from my great-grandmother, Louisa Ellen Hird. My mama has held on to it for years, and now she is old and recognising the need to prune the chattels. So she gave it to me. As it’s old and beautiful I offered it to the hospice fundraiser, but no interest. So it went to the charity shop. I hope it found a good home. They were wonderful, really, these books; but the world is full of wonders and if we take them all home we get into difficulties.
This is a thing from the Post Office to measure a parcel for assessing the cost of sending it. Well, when I send a parcel or a letter, I either look at it and see at once what category it’s in, or else mistrust my judgement and ask the lady at the Post Office to make pronouncement. The plastic thing never helped.
Two small wine glasses – sherry glasses. If I have a glass of wine now, I drink it from one of my little Japanese teacups.
Boots for being smart in. I had several pairs of these. They represented aspirations to elegance. I prefer comfort these days :0)