It’s Monday. The sky is a wrinkled sheet of grey. The dawn chorus is chiding me for staying beneath my duvet just a little longer.
Just as I brace myself for a change in texture, from brushed cotton to cold clothing, the rain starts to patter and I falter.
Today I have made space to falter. I am slowing down. I am keeps things to a minimum.
Energy has been spent on the good sort of socialising and like a torpid, overstuffed lion, I am sated. I will metaphorically sleep off the stupor and emerge re-energised.
My social hangovers don’t hold the pressures they once did. I am not pushing myself on, so the headaches aren’t pounding in the background as I turn gears that are overheated and screeching. Instead I’m letting them idle.
Can’t think of the words right now? Not a problem, let them go, they’ll come back.
My heart rate is slow and even, the guilt that once hammered at my chest is gone. I am left with an interested detachment, a fascination with the detail, not a cacophony of harpies screaming, “Pathetic! Lazy! Abnormal! Failure! Loser!”
The memory of those voices raises a motherly frown of pity, not panic. The day I stopped running from them and turned to see where they came from, was the day it changed.
My kids love the book “We’re going on a Bear Hunt”. The children in it look for a bear and when they find one run away. My children always pause longest on the last page; the one where the bear wanders home alone. They always say, “Poor sad bear.”
Because the monster that chased you is so often rooted in fear and misunderstanding, and if you just turn and look, try to understand it, it may lose its power.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t run and hide from bears. It’s the metaphorical, internal bears who need you.
Today’s a day for following my tangents as they meander this way and that. I shall finish writing this and then I’ll look up what to do if a bear does actually attack you, because I suspect running isn’t always the best option. I imagine it will depend on the species of bear, whether it has cubs, what sex it is, how it’s feeling. I’m sure there are metaphors in there somewhere too.
By the time I’ve looked up bears, my this-way-that-way brain will have pointed out something else. Like a three year old in a zoo tugging me this way and that, and today is about indulging that brain, not trying to make it sit still and listen, just letting it wander.
The rain is pounding down now, it’s a good day for being inside a mind.