Monday morning meditation, complete with yawning. The week turning over, emails dashing in about work, commissions, rejections, requests, project briefs. That brief slow space of meditation carrying me into the day, the ups and downs of it. Wordlessness, silence, contemplation.
Rowan Williams, no longer Archbishop of Canterbury and I am sure a happier man for it:
“Contemplation, in other words, is a deeper appropriation of the vulnerability of the self in the midst of the language and transactions of the world; it identifies the real damaging pathologies of human life, our violent obsessions with privilege, control, and achievement, as arising from the refusal to know and love oneself a creature, a body … The hope professed by Christians of immortal life cannot be a hope for a non-mortal way of seeing the world; it is rather a trust that what our mortality teaches us of God opens up the possibility of knowing God or seeing God in ways for which we have, by definition, no useful mortal words,”
And after meditation, there are dogs to be fed, the garden to be watered, emails to be answered, bills to be paid, laundry humming away in the wash basket, a gutter stuffed with dead leaves, menus to be devised, chores and preparation for community service, an hour of literacy teaching, another hour showing someone how to use MS Word on the computer, a friend’s birthday so I must think about baking muffins or a lemon polenta cake, hoping it comes out better this time, sorting out tin cans and toilet rolls for recycling. All the while I compose opening paragraphs of fiction, practise snatches of dialogue, skim book reviews, jot down notes to myself. Monday morning, here you are again.
Had a disconcerting conversation with an old friend last night who said it is a pity I stopped drinking because she remembers me as a warm, funny and vivacious drunk. The problem was that I went from warm, funny, vivacious, etc, to dead drunk in a few hours, stopping en route for a little enraged, morose or maudlin. She might not remember that part, but I do and I remind myself — why we can’t drink, why we won’t drink. Grateful, grateful, grateful that I no longer need to drink. ‘Warm, funny and vivacious’ can wait for the real me to catch up. No more moods on tap.