Had porridge and Fairtrade coffee, walked up to the bus stop, hot and sticky weather — scribbling in my moleskine and feeling a little desperate about the writing not coming together quickly enough, the slow pace of recovery, how clueless I feel much of the time, insecure and travelling through uncharted territory. Sat and looked at at hot golden fields, hollyhocks in profusion, the brilliant scarlet flowers of the runner beans winding up their trellises.
To the library where I took out an early exploration into psychogeography by Iain Sinclair. Rambled around the lanes of the town, then to the meeting, greeting others as I arrived, glad to be out of the humidity of the library and shops. Having coffee and a chocolate-studded biscuit, delicious, sitting in my usual place and smiling at those I have come to know. P saying to me she has discovered her key problem is resentment — feeling a little uneasily that she is feeding that resentment with stoked fury.
And then we were into a group conscience and dreary old J saying: ‘I bring myself to the meeting and take my mess to my sponsor.’ We are all messes, sober or not. How awfully pukka and middle-class he can be, a schoolteacher and dry as a bone. We went on to talk about being kinder to ourselves, outgrowing that punitive self that only understands carrot or stick. Talked about the void we find when the drama of drunkeness is gone — moving beyond duality into an understanding that things are what they are. Moving beyond relentless self-improvement schemes into acceptance. Able to simply be with ourselves and others.
And then I did the drying up, the flow and grace of that helpfulness between women in the kitchen, the ease of talking and tasking, no strain or resentment. Up to the cathedral, thinking about the young woman living at home and watching her mother drink each night, unable to recall the television programmes she had seen the night before. The daughter tense and fearful and wanting to escape, wanting to have fun and be young again, not trapped in penitence. And despite all the genuine pathos there was also self-pity, a lethal sentimentality that skewed the share.
Bought a small Hidcote lavender and bunches of bright daisies and a lovely handful of sweet peas, that delicate evocative scent. Mushrooms, some cutlery, Sniffing my flowers, the lilac and blue and pink and cream of the sweet pea blossoms and glad to be letting beauty into my life again.
Coming home and planting the lavender bush in a glazed pot. Brimming over with unthinking happiness, the slow getting of wisdom in life. Just to keep going and keep trusting. Not to be so afraid of what is happening on the inside, to simply notice it and let the feelings come up and pass. To live as best I can. Charting the unknown as best I can. The authenticity will follow when I want it badly enough. To let in that wholehearted hunger –