Twenty minutes to five and quite dark outside. It is a filthy afternoon of biting winds forcing thin draughts of cold air through tiny cracks in the frames of well insulated doors and windows. All the same, the house is warm and cosy and the wind-flung rain spattering the window glass makes me glad I am indoors and there is no need to leave the house this evening. Millie must take her chances and use the garden tonight. I will neither take her nor chase her out in this weather.
No season to hedge
Get beetle and wedge
Cleave logs now all
For kitchen and hall.
It’s also possible that this is something to do with age. The period between the childishness of youth - with some people it can reach well into their late thirties - and the onset of second childhood
When all my days are ending
And I have no song to sing,
I think that I shall not be too old
To stare at everything;
and the foolishness of old age can be a wonderful time. One feels adult, not driven by the opinions of others. On Helen’s couch this morning, waiting for her to start ministrations on my face, we got to talking about how good it feels to turn ones back on hurts and offensive remarks. “You know when someone says something or does something and you say to yourself ‘Right, I don’t want this to upset me, don’t want to let it get to me, just let it go, but you know full well that it will anyway, if not now then later?” she asked. “So when the time comes and you really don’t care, when you know that some people cannot help themselves but behave unpleasantly and for years you have been trying to ignore them and their barbs and criticisms, and then suddenly you do ignore them and shrug your shoulders?”
“When you’re in control and not always looking over your shoulder to see how what you do or say goes down with someone else?”
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
We were agreed that the journey to self-confidence has many obstacles. Helen is a good 25 years younger than me, if she has already reached the blissful state of indifference in the face of baleful mischief-making, she has done well. It took me many more years.
All things considered, 2014 hasn’t been altogether fruitless. Beloved and I were having a conversation along similar lines last night; it’s seasonal, it seems. The word ‘passion’ was mentioned . . . . . . .