There is a sigh, so deep that no light will ever reach its depths.
Carnegie Library, Herne Hill. Is not my local library. It’s not even, the next local, local library. My friend visits the library (or should I say used to visit) every week with her daughter (who is two years old). It’s a place that means a lot to them, and they mean a lot to me. That’s why I am supporting the #savelambethlibraries campaign.
I don’t have any children. I don’t know what it’s like to give yourself up to raising another human being. I don’t know how it feels to change your life so dramatically, from one day living and doing everything for yourself to the next day thinking only about the life you’ve bought into the world. I imagine it can feel overwhelming, so overwhelming that you panic a little everyday, you feel uncertain where you once felt assured, your breath gets shorter when it was once languid and steady, your mind gets more tired when it once had the reserves to keep going, your body aches with the life it’s just grown and the energy it is expressing to keep that being alive, you are weighed down by the responsibility and the strain.
To find solace in a place where for a few hours a day or even just a week, none of these things consume who you are – must be a paradise.
Where you are welcomed by kind and reassuring faces. Where you might meet other families who are experiencing the same emotions, or older children who show you what is on the road ahead, or wise elders who smile in that knowing way that gives you hope that maybe you are doing just fine. Where the magic of the written word takes you and your baby out of the challenges of the everyday and gives your imaginations time to soar and revive. Where you can share this joy with others and exchange favourite stories, learn about new worlds, characters and cultures. Or on some days be given the space to just immerse yourself and sit, to just be.
This is a library. And this sounds like something worth fighting for.
There are people in my life who I am in awe of. Yes, because they are clever, witty, kind and all round good people. But mostly because they are unafraid.
They embrace life with everything that they have. They give love to everything they do, and care for all of those who make a difference to their own lives; no matter how big or small.
They don’t get scared of saying the wrong thing, they don’t worry that one small action might haunt them forever, they’re not afraid that people are judging everything they do, that don’t even think that people are talking bout them behind their back. Even if there are times when they do, they know those people aren’t worth the worrying about, and they talk to their friends (their real ones) and they move on.
They give comfort. They give care. They give love.
They live life and they are strong. Strong about who they are, about what they believe in and strong in the relationships they keep. They don’t fight for control. they don’t play games. They just are.
They bring the world to them.
For Jen. For Megan. For Laura. For Liz. For Helen.
I was prompted this morning to dust off my copy of Henslowe’s Diary. I was keen to see if I could find what play might have been listed on this date, sometime in the 1590’s / 1600’s.
I came across an entry for Easter 1593. What peaked my interest was not what play was on, but instead how it was spelt.
It would of course not been at all funny at the time (as their was no such thing as standardised spelling, or indeed people who fried things – or at least would have been called such?!) but retrospectively the spelling of ‘Frier Bacone’ caused me tremendous mirth.
I realise I may be alone in this pleasure. But still … Happy Easter y’all.
There are different kinds of confidence.
There is the kind that lets you try new things; putting yourself in situations that are unfamiliar, where you don’t know what’s going to happen.
There’s the kind that lets you talk openly about your ideas, thoughts and opinions. Let’s you say to others ‘this is where I stand’, ‘this is what I know’, ‘this is how I feel’, ‘this is right’, ‘this is wrong’, ‘I agree’, ‘I disagree’.
One of them gives power and reliance to others. Your less accountable. You’re led by others, and rely on what they tell you and what they do.
The other relies on yourself. To be assured of your place, to not be swayed by others. To bend but not break. To know yourself.
Both are based on the assumption that people are, on the whole, good. That people are genuine and honest, with what they say, what they do and their intentions. You can trust them, with either yourself or your thoughts.
Which of these types of confidence should you have? One. Both. How much of each? What if one out ways the other? What if you only have a bit of both? None of one, all of the other?
And what kinds of people have each one?
Someone that can talk to anyone. But about nothing at all.
Someone that talks about everything, but to only a few.
How scared are these people of encountering each other. That the other may demand or force us to do something that only they feel comfortable doing. A failed attempt to be what only the other is good at can shatter our sense of self.
I live constantly in the fear of the aftermath.
I don’t think.
I’d rather not.
I should just not get involved.
Do you think.
My brain is over active. It sees the tiniest little detail, plots out a narrative and fasts forward to the extent of that thread. It takes no more than a few seconds, if that. And then I’m hooked. That thought picks away at me, scratching and edging it’s way to the forefront of my mind until I can think of nothing else. Until I’ve worn out the extent of the possibility, and either proved wrong or seen my prediction come to pass.
It is a curse.
Suspicion comes naturally.
There are no holes unfound in the loop.
I know all the angles.
Feelings are truth. Don’t give me words.
I still don’t understand how to use an apostrophe.