Getting going in the mornings is like trying to herd cats, as they say. I remember pulling the crockpot out of the corner and onto the countertop to start dinner. Lunchtime I went back into the kitchen to see it there. Empty. Useless. Forlorn.

I’m projecting again.

I keep reminding myself (at the risk of sounding like an inspirational meme) that life is a specific dance. One step back, two steps forward, one step back. And then your partner accidentally kicks you in the shin. (For the record, my partner is an excellent dancer, and only kicks me in the shins metaphorically.)

Anti-climax is definitely a thing. And – although I am excited about new projects – I am trying very hard to move forward. This morning I showered and dried my hair with a blow dryer for the first time in over two months. I put make-up on. Braving the cold winds and intermittent hail, I picked up the binder’s board I ordered two weeks ago. I picked up wine. And some lavender shampoo because I have been feeling very…. pragmatic lately. At least in terms of personal hygiene. I’m ready for some scented candles and soft music. I want to smell something besides sandpaper and pulp. And cuddle-puppy.

Speaking of which, I’m worried about how Leonard will take me going back to work this week. The pup is 35 kilo of adoration and has even taken to crawling up in E.’s lap when I’ve been sewing the signatures for books. Although I suppose E. will be working from home for a while yet. The vaccine roll-out here is shamefully inept. We’re expecting another spike over the next two weeks from the Easter holidays. I fully expect to go back to work, only to wind up teaching part-time online again.

But hey… roll with it? Right now nothing seems quite recognizable and I am beginning to relax a little. To come to terms with that. I suppose it really is a lesson in not clinging – even if it means not clinging to sanity either. I mean in the way that we can only approach these things obliquely. Catch a tiger sliding up alongside with a peach in hand, rather than charging head-on with a net.

Easy-does-it.

I’ve another doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Then heading slowly back to real life on Friday. The most frightening thing is that I am comfortable here in the house. Too comfortable. I’m almost afraid to go out and interact with people. Fragile. No. That’s not right. I am not fragile. Reactive.

Maybe Friday I should bring a crate of peaches to work. Yeah. Good luck finding decent peaches anywhere in this country.

did I say this was
my second glass with dinner
rambling uncensored
stepping right through the surface
of decorum like thin ice

My coffee machine died this morning. I suppose nearly ten years – five years beyond warranty – is a pretty good deal. So here I sit with freeze dried coffee, wet hair and the wind hitting the windowpane.

A dried leaf falls from the cut roses on my desk, like a deliberate grab for attention. They really need to be put in the compost.

And I stare at this screen.

“Nice Cinderella, Good Cinderella,” is an ear-worm that I can’t shake this morning. Since we’ve been watching Into the Woods this week in class, it isn’t surprising, but it it still feels random. Shouldn’t ear-worms have some kind of significance? Some kind of hidden message? “Nevermind Cinderella, Kind Cinderella.”


The Raggedy-Ann doll
on the book shelf was a gift –
it replaced a lost doll
I mentioned to a friend
– a comforting keepsake

– a token of care
arrived in the mailbox: this
thing at the center
between her hands and mine
amidst a history of loss

“All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them.”

Ursula K. Le Guin

The snow is melting off the roof. I can hear it dripping outside the window. I didn’t run this morning. Instead, I took two paracetamol and emptied the dishwasher. I still feel out-of-sorts. And again this question of “normal” arises.

The more I feel things slip out of control, the more I keep rearranging the spice cupboard.

I suppose it is forcing a sense of order on the world. Filling the salt grinder with coarse seas salt. Consolidating three bottles of cumin seeds. It’s grounding.

No pun intended. Or maybe, intended. The textures, the smells are simple and comforting. After nearly a year of ad hoc meals, I’m cooking again. It feels like a good “beginning again”.

Now coffee, and a blank page.


Her voice is pebbled
I press the phone to my ear
an hour of ache
an ocean away she tugs
a thread that unravels us

I can hear you, just-
a knife slices through onion –
keep talking. Neck stretched
to my shoulder stuck mid-shrug
to bear the weight of the call