Friday, 15 November 2013

A stillness filled me...

...bitterness lifted from me.

It's a line from Brian Patten, and it's bitterness that I've been thinking about at the moment, but not so much I want the word in my post title, because it's a horrible word and a pretty horrible sensation.

It's just occurred to me that I hold myself back with being bitter. It creeps in when I'm not looking and it's invidious, it shades the way I think about so much. Well, I think, when I see someone doing things I wish I was doing, it's ok for her, she has childcare, or her children are older, or her children sleep. When I look at the craft bloggers that I so love to read, I'm filled with an unpleasant envy, same with all the people who write, who talk about getting up early and doing morning pages, and spending their evenings honing their craft. Not fair, I want to shout, they've obviously got rich husbands or private means, they're not like me, they obviously don't need to earn a living. Poor poor Helen spends all her free time doing "real" work, moneywork, earning a living, being an adult, having responsibilities, and it's so unfair that "they" have the chance to do interesting things, explore their skills, do real creative work, etc. What's more, poor Helen never gets a decent night's sleep, and if she got up early to do things then the child would wake and howl, and so on.

This stuff is, to some extent, true: I do have an awful lot of claims on my time right now, in this season of my life. But, I could still find spaces for things that aren't paid work, and I could still dream about the things I'll do once I have a little more time, and there's no point at all now in being bad tempered about the way that things are. I didn't marry a banker, and he wouldn't be the man I'd wanted to marry if he was the all-hours type; I did birth a high-maintenance child, and am parenting him in a high-maintenance way, but there's nothing to do with that other than suck it up.

Also time does bend and flex, when you really want it to, and if I let go of thinking that it can't, then it might. When my Booker books came I'd probably read only one or two novels in the previous three months, then I hammered through five of them in a couple of weeks, because I was loving them, and I had a target, and so I found the time, I eked and scraped it, and it was there. (Now, number six, the one that in a travesty ended up winning, I still haven't got through, which tells you all you need to know about how you're much better at making time when it's for something you like).

Realistically we do need an income, and that's going to be from me, so it would be really unwise to pack in the accounting and try to making a living from selling unfinished crochet pieces, but I can still man up a bit about the rest of it.

(It's a very sad poem, by the way, called On time for once, as beautiful as all of his love poems, but not actually relevant to the post apart from those lines, just for the avoidance of doubt).