For the past week, I’ve been underwater. The week before that, I was mute.
Late winter is harsh on the body. I lost my voice, then I got the flu. The cold shakes and the fever dreams and the exhaustion and brain fog. And throughout that last week I could barely read at all. Where do we go when we have this kind of unwellness, the kind we know we’ll overcome with time? We just sit in our cracked skin, I suppose, and wait for the mind to take a breath and function again.
Yesterday I surfaced. I went to the bookshop with D, and edited. Editing that was heartwarming, because it reminded me that yes, I’ve spent all this time and something is being made. I don’t know of how much worth. But I know I’ve improved as a writer doing it. Struggling and kicking and planing and carving and flights of fancy and sweat. Swimming in my preferred element, however ineptly I am compared to others. I’m listening to a playlist on 8tracks as I write this, so maybe that’s making me think of water, fluidity and so on. The gears are turning with outside help and though my skin is still peeling and my eyes a bit bloodshot, there it is. Thought. The bright flash of an inner field. A vista, a possibility.
The books I bought (with a Christmas gift card) are, l-r,
The Secret History by Donna Tartt, because everyone says it’s good.
Diaboliad by Mikhail Bulgakov, because of that cover and it’s Bulgakov, who also wrote-
The Master and Margarita. This version doesn’t seem to use American terms like ‘sneaker’ which has prevented me from re-reading one of my favourites – it’s been 10 years since I last read it. I’m scared I won’t be as much in love, but we shall see.
It’s good to be back on shore. Now I’m off to climb among the dunes.