A perfect drying day. It’s warm in the sun, with a slight breeze. But it’s cold here in the study, and part of me (all of me) doesn’t really want to stand in here and write while it’s so beautiful outside.
Yesterday late afternoon, I went to meet M outside her office in Norwich. There was a guy there playing classical guitar to no-one in particular (and there was precious little footfall because it was a Bank Holiday), so I just stood in the un, took some pictures of an old deconsecrated church that’s now an antiques centre, and stretched my back in the sun. I’d walked down into town wearing just a shirt and two jumpers, the sleeves rolled up so my arms might get some colour and fresh air, and got quite hot anyway. I felt like a nervous kid before a first date, waiting for M to come out of work, and when she came out with one of her colleagues only walked across to her very slowly. Funny what love does even when it’s been there for over 30 years.
We met up with F and J, our pregnant (very pregnant) friends from Belgium (well, F is pregnant, and J is the father-to-be). We’ve not seen them as a couple of three or four years. It was just so nice to sit in a pub courtyard drinking lemonade and catching up, and then to share a Greek meal talking more, with M and F talking about motherhood and giving birth (with M’s partial training as a doula as well as being a mother of four being a bit of an eye-opener for all of us). I just added horror stories of retained placentas and tales of being thrown out of the birthing room when O was born. Just for perspective. And to highlight yet again how useless men are, and how helpless we feel when those we love are giving birth and there’s actually absolutely nothing we can do to practically help. When they dropped us off at our house (which was immensely kind of them as my three layers by then were proving to be yet another example of my impracticality and I was cold), I reminded F (after M had said how much she actually enjoyed giving birth) of something my previous 5E practitioner had said – that giving birth is essentially a very sensual experience and that women should be given time and space to enjoy it as such.
Talking of my impracticality (and I have now switched desks and am sitting down in the cold office), M is outside digging over the garden. Once again, I feel useless, and like I should be out there being similarly industrious and productive rather than being in here throwing around useless words and wondering about life and recollecting memories that might otherwise be lost. I am two weeks behind putting up the Radio Stradbroke podcasts as well, and there’s another whole raft of similarly real things I should be catching up on. Life, as the children say, is relentless. And today I feel relentlessed. I know that’s another word of my invention, but I crave calm. I have to remind myself my body is recovering from yet another injury, although that just sounds like an excuse. I feel a fraud. In all things.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 63