A sleepless night, so frazzled and not coping well with a madly energetic puppy and dog skirmishes. As well as extra work on my desk and a house that looks as if a bomb has hit it. Burned a pot of lentils and the house smells acrid and bitter.
Yesterday was Soweto Day in South Africa, a public holiday commemorating the memory of those schoolchildren who led and were shot down in an uprising against apartheid on June 16, 1976. Some hard and painful old memories of the years of struggle, dead friends, young lives wasted.
It was also the anniversary of my housemate’s mother’s death and not an easy day for her. She has had bad angina pain for much of the night and is resting: right now I rather wish we did not have a frisky puppy chewing table legs and squeaking joyfully at the prospect of making mischief. The icy winter rain is falling relentlessly and none of the dogs can be let out into the garden. We sit cooped up together watching the new pup wreak havoc. I have written 3 000 words on a new chapter, so far sounding like lumpy porridge.
Sober but a trifle powerless, interesting to feel this way again – the skies have just gone black and there is ribbon lightning flashing like a streamer of blazing mercury. So beautiful I forget all my other worries.
From Paris Review, the writer Jim Harrison who wrote Legends of the Fall:
The best thing I’ve ever read on the subject of alcohol and the writer was by Walker Percy, who defined it as a “reentry” problem. The writer works in this totally solitary universe, and to reenter the world he has to have a couple of belts, then a couple of belts on top of a couple of belts. And most people drink for no other reason than that they started drinking. It’s essentially a sedative, and if you’re a manic depressive in the first place, which is basically my configuration, you sometimes need a lot of sedation.