Last night, M and I did what you really shouldn’t do when the clocks go forwards – we stayed up very very late, drank too much prosecco, and turned the oven off at the wall because we couldn’t figure out how to change the time on it and didn’t want to risk it coming on while we were asleep. As a result, I didn’t wake up till gone 10. But I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I’m officially on holiday, and my approach this week will be to take things as they come. No plans. No disappointments.
That it’s taken me until being over 60 to realise the simple healing power of stretches is something I suppose comes to most people. Things we should have known when we were young and destroying our bones and muscles in the secure knowledge that we were immortal and indestructible only become obvious now. My back felt very tight and painful yesterday, so I did any number of simple back stretches on the bed, and got up loose and pain free. The same thing this morning. Very stiff, very slow-moving. More stretches. Pull those knees towards my chest and hold for a count of 30, and repeat seven times. And other ones that I haven’t actually got the words to describe. And the final ones lying on my stomach and raising my upper body 0n my elbows and holding it (is that a baby cobra or something?) whilst doing Wordle, Scholardle and Wordle 2 and answering messages. And tensing my core at the same time. It’s building all these things into my daily routine that I don’t seem to be able to manage. But I must, because those stretches heal my mind as well. Oddly enough.
It’s Mothers’ Day here in the UK. Yes, commercial tosh, and every day is Mothers’ Day. But we’ve been home alone for most of this weekend, and it was so heart-warming that each of the four children sent M a message on the family WhatsApp. And I, sitting next to her at the breakfast table, sent her a message as well, to thank her for the four wonderful children we have had together. M, after all, has done all the hard work, and I’ve just been hanging around in the background. M is baking a vegan cake while I sit here playing with words. The story of our life together, really. Grateful doesn’t really say enough.
It’s after noon, a long way after noon, now. The day stretches ahead finitely. But there’s still a long way to go. I wrote a visceral poem of memory and healthy idleness last night while we were watching The Road. I don’t even know if it’s finished yet, and haven’t yet read it back to myself. It could be dreadful, for all I know.
The sun is streaming into the messy garden study. Someone said there’s going to be snow on Thursday. The wheels of time grind existence into dust. I played a track on the radio yesterday called Digital Immortality. It had no words. There are lots of words spinning around my head, everywhere, all the time. I just need to pick out the right ones. This is what writing every day does. Self-seeding. Amidst all the pain and cruelty and despair, there are still reasons for hope.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 43