This year seems to be taking flight and weeks dash by. February will be the hottest and windiest month before we move into the mists and woodsmoke of autumn, but I feel I have been racing through January without pause and need to catch my breath.
There are ripe tomatoes ready to be made into puree, chillies to be dried, herbs to be scrunched into butter, onions to be plaited into strings. I am one-third of the way through a book on French concierge life and philosophy (The Elegant Hedgehog) and I can’t remember what I once knew about Husserl and phenomenology. My revised chapter needs more revision. The housemate is on a steak burger spree and I toss salads under her nose in vain. She wants juicy double burgers on toasted buns with fried onions and slices of processed cheese. Wild mustard and mizuna leaves with a lick of green olive oil doesn’t appeal to her. On the other hand, a friend of mine about to head off to New York Fashion Week will not eat anything except my leafy salads.
A neighbour from down the road has come up with the solution to violence and found how to ensure world peace. His three-year-old grandson has taken to head-butting friends, relatives and the kitchen cupboards. Grandpa encourages him to shout: ‘Gi’ us a kiss!’ as he does so, and nobody minds the head-butting.
I am critiquing a friend’s manuscript and need to tell her to trust the story. If we go in deep enough, let the imagination play and explore as it will, and allow characters to act out of character, the story may begin to tell itself. And at the core of each of our lives there is a shining thread of pure story. It has taken me forever to learn this about my own life.
Nothing is wasted, everything has meaning if we know where to look, if we look with wide trusting eyes and leave a little space for hope to slip in.