Woke up to find there is no running water. All I have is some boiled water in the kettle and that has to go into the dogs’ water bowl and not for washing my face or making coffee. There is some cold mountain water in the fridge for washing a few dishes. I rang the municipality but most municipal workers are out on strike.
A cellphone tower in the mountains was damaged and I have almost no cell phone reception. And the Internet keeps crashing — nothing new there. I’m grumbling and there is no point in grumbling except for a little whiny satisfaction.
Today is the housemate’s Scorpio birthday. My friend Terri tells me the writer Robert Wilkinson believes that Scorpio archetypes come in four basic forms: the Scorpion, the Snake, the Eagle and the Phoenix. The housemate has aspects of all four and anyone who has lived with a Scorpio knows all about this. She still wants gazpacho and fiery Mexican dishes for her birthday supper, so when (or if) the water comes back on, I shall make them for her. But last night, after a very hot and busy day, she had a brief fainting fit that might have been a transient ischemic stroke or indicative of blood pressure problems or heart problems. This morning I feel sick with worry and she has dashed off to Cape Town to get advice on handling a dying patient, refuses to concede anything to illlness or frailty, not one to go gently into that dark night.
Grumbling and anxious then, but standing on solid ground, grounding myself in sobriety and calm trust. What happens is what happens. Because I couldn’t sleep last night, I sat in the dark cool kitchen looking at moonlight in the garden – the moon is nearly full and glorious, and there is something about the lonely whiteness of that lunar beauty which brings up a yearning in me. A longing I suppose to be part of something greater and more mysterious, a desire for some kind of belonging or Oneness. Through the trees at the far end of the garden, I could see a neighbour’s light on: Marie B who is elderly, in her 80s and unable to sleep because of arthritis. She sits up with her ginger cats for company and reads the Bible, rubbing warmed oils into her swollen knuckles.
No answers to life’s conundrums except in the living of that life. Some lines from a poem by Steve Orlen that keep running through my head:
I can’t sleep and I can’t stay awake and the sun’s coming up,
So I lift the lid of the box and watch the two worlds collide
Softly as dust particles in the first shaft of light.
I took these photographs!
One river is forever running down and the other upstream,
And the children in one boat are always waving hello,
And in the other, no one waves goodbye, no one.
Their faces are as stilled as photographs can make them.
Image from Stephanie Valentin, found here.