The greening of the oaks continues and there are two fluffed-up baby owls scowling in an old oak tree just down the road. Although a cold wind blows across the fields, spring is slowly moving in.
Excited to read about medical research testing a new gene to help those with macular degeneration (I lost the sight of my right eye through a rare glaucoma and have only 40 percent vision in the left eye). The researchers, from Pennsylvania University, the University of Florida and Cornell University, suggested that the function of “cones” in the retina, which are used in daytime and colour vision, could be boosted up to 50-fold – a “dramatic” improvement in function.
Still musing on that very tough but profoundly moving vipassana retreat. I’m glad I went because I rediscovered my capacity to cope with severe physical discomfort and heightened levels of fear. And living sober has shown me that lucid awareness plus persistence means everything when enduring hard times — that thrill of knowing one is learning a skill to live by, that there is growth and change where once there was just stasis and repetition.
This morning I am going down to have a cup of coffee with my friend Sheila who is battling depression as the first anniversary of her partner’s death approaches. She and Willie, who was a woodcarver, had lived together for 26 years and she is now in her late 70s and lost without that loving companionship.
Then back to work, the solitary grind of editing, and a break while I experiment with vipassana vegan recipes, beans and mushrooms and toasted sesame seeds, crushed cardamom for fragrance, chopped cashew nuts. Eggplant and zucchini and cumin, very light and delicate flavouring, not my usual lime and chilli infusions. My housemate continues to stuff the deep freeze cabinets with venison and eisbein and steaks as I steam grains — quinoa, lentils, buckwheat — and mince ginger with lemongrass.
Staying in the moment, a little chilly but hopeful of asparagus arriving at the farm stalls any day now, along with artichokes and broad beans. My second spring of the year…