Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monochrome tendencies

Winter trees

Here I am, a day late already, so much for resolve. But in my defence, I've been ill. The kind of ill you get better from, so I don't need any sympathy, but also the kind of ill that sends you falling into to bed with such lassitude that whole days drift past and you've done nothing more strenuous than turn the pillow over looking for a cool bit. Maybe drink a Lemsip and deign to get in a bath that has been run for you. If it'd been left to you it would have overflowed and you'd have found it hard to care. Meetings are missed, emails are unsent, pyjamas are unchanged out of. I already had a policy of avoiding people who cost me energy, but for the last week or so I've just been avoiding people full stop.

I probably had it coming. I had a cold when my mum first went into hospital back in September, but I only remember it because I hovered in the doorway for fear of passing it onto her... it wasn't a showstopper. But apart from that I've been fine for months, through the Big Move, through the days of no broadband, through the long fading of light into a winter of sombre significance and many train journeys. I used to melt into a puddle of blood and tears every month, but that's been under control for over a year now, thanks to the marvels of artificial progestogen (I think I may be a little tougher and less accommodating than I used to be but hey, WORTH IT). I ain't no hippie but I do think when you have to power through, you power through, and then you have a little break from all the powering, and then you fall over. There's probably science that explains that, right?

Anyway, when it comes, it comes, and I'm well brought up enough to know that you can't fight it, all you can do is ride it out. You can go for a little walk in the woods, watch the snow falling on the river, and shed a few tears for all the sadness in the world. You can catch up on all the Nordic Noir you've been missing. You can rediscover the joy of soup. You can read a bit of Tove Jansson, who writes so beautifully about the introspective moods of midwinter. You can spend a lot of time thinking about trees, and a little bit of time talking to them.

This morning the sun rose and shone into my bedroom, and I sat up in bed and saw the heron sitting on his (her? how can you tell?) favourite rock in the river. It was magical. I can do melancholy with the best of them - in Rupert Thomson's Divided Kingdom I would definitely live in the Green Quarter - but it's good to remember that colour floods back into the world just as surely as it can drain out.

joella

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