Someone once described me as being like a butterfly – and later had a dream of me as the Ice Queen, fighting off his enemies. Both beautiful images which I take as compliments, holding them dear and treasuring them in my heart (“Thank You” to the man who said them to me). But they also made – and make – me consider myself: what do they say about me? Obviously any interpretation is subjective – what they conjure up to me may be completely different for someone else. The main thing that struck me was a sense of strength and elegance; of flying free; and yet of delicate beauty – of fragility. A butterfly can so easily be crushed, and ice can shatter into seemingly glass-like shards, which melt away to water (another substance however which can seem so fragile and yet have such enormous strength). But that is not to deny that there is an appropriate strength there.
That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling recently. I know I am strong; I know I can get through the bad things which have happened and which continue to happen to me; but I am also conscious of how I flew too high and crashed so, so far, and I feel broken; splintered. Is that possible? Is there anything wrong with flying too high? Do we sometimes have to do that in order to learn the very lessons that we need? Do we need to fly that high in order truly to become freer – to fly off the path we were on and perhaps crash land onto the one we were meant to be on?
Hence the previous post: I am trying to face up to my pain and to learn from it: and there are all sorts of lessons I am learning. Lessons about myself (as a mother; as a friend; as a singer and creative person; as a lover); lessons about human nature. By stepping back and examining myself I am also learning better how to look out at the world and see myself in perspective. Although I could be accused of being introspective, that is helping me at the same time to be more sensitive to the world around me, and to look at the bigger picture, and I’m reading all sorts of writing by all sorts of people from a worldwide spread of religious and non-religious viewpoints. Some themes keep repeating themselves: for example that we are individuals but we are all made of the same matter, and interconnected. Whilst we are tiny specks compared to the stars, I love thinking of us all as star dust. I also want to help others – not in a social worker sort of way as that’s not me, but somehow through using my skills as a writer, performer and communicator. I want to help change the world: and it’s interesting that my daughter seems to have the same ambition, which she has acquired completely on her own, not from anything I have said to her. Perhaps she, at 10, has a better sense of her ‘life path’ than I did.
I went for a walk up Talkin Fell again yesterday. As I walked up through the woods the bluebells waved under the trees, a blue haze splattered with sunshine and shadows (the photos at the top show the bluebells in Ridge Woods as well), birds singing as a backdrop. Up on the solitary top the wind was strong and in the distance I could see it was raining over Scotland and the Lakeland Fells: but above me there was a bright blue sky with just floaty wisps of cirrus. The tiny exquisitely graceful white wild flowers were brushed by the wind; a lapwing and its mate called anxiously to each other and then flew up together to check that no predators (me) were approaching their nest. For a time I sat, leaning against stone, and just soaked it all in.
Later my friends Jo and Mike arrived, on their way home from Orkney. They took me out to dinner at the Golden Fleece at Ruleholme – we had booked a table as it’s practically impossible to get in otherwise, it’s so popular. Deservedly so – the décor is lovely (I particularly like the maps on the tables, and we all liked the way there are different dining areas); the ambiance is comfortable and busy without being too noisy; they had about 5 or 6 different gins to choose from; the service is professional but friendly; and the food was lovely and cooked exactly how we requested. However it is probably one of the most expensive restaurants locally, though it’s good value for money as the food is good and the helpings are generous. The only disappointment was that there was not more choice of vegetarian and fish options (and in fact that is where Capernaum bistro in Brampton has a real selling point – but perhaps people around here are predominantly carnivores!). A 16 oz Chateaubriand was 57 GBP (sorry – the pound sign has disappeared from my computer)… none of us had that…
Today was Sunday, the day of the week which I have always found the lowest point if I’m feeling low already. I refined a promotional leaflet for Two Red Heads and… for Care Homes, and delivered a few by foot; a big pile of ironing is waiting (perhaps to be done in front of a film) and a pile of washing is waiting to be hung up. My children used to come back on a Sunday: I won’t see them until tomorrow after school. Something has to change.