What a tumultuous time I’ve been experiencing…. I’m aware that I’ve been writing / thinking this for a 2 years now .. or more?
On Friday I went to a memorial in Glasgow which I was dreading. The weather was truly Shakesperian and cooperated by sheeting rain, gray skies and blacker buildings. I managed to fall UP some stairs – a first for me. I passed the few hours beforehand at The Yarncake. The truly hideous weather removed all desire to tramp to galleries to improve myself. Instead I parked myself in the The Yarncake, purchased some yarn and did a little crochet. If you are yarn minded and going to Glasgow do make the effort to seek it out only a few minutes walk from Hillhead underground station. The cakes looked utterly divine but I’d had a huge lunch at the Hillhead Book Club near the subway so resisted.
At the memorial I met people I haven’t seen in 15-20 years. People who belong to a different part of my life. A part which I sometimes regret, a part which I sometimes celebrate, a part which enrages me. (I am a former feminist activist who in middle age regrets not learing to use a gun. All I can say that it’s a jolly good thing this country has strong gun control laws). And recent encounters with young women online haven’t improved my mood.
I don’t know if the younger me could ever have understood or contemplated what I’ve been through in the last twenty years. How I have struggled through chronic unending illness to keep my sanity, try and create a bearable meaningful life for myself. How do you explain to someone who chirps at you – ‘have you made any films recently? That actually just getting up in the morning and getting through the day is a win? And that really I’m beyond the woman who thought mistakenly that achieving things and public ticks of approval was a good way to organise her life and that in anycase it never worked and never made her feel any better?
And then the next day as a sort of reward by the universe after the gloom of the day before I went to a wedding. A lovely wedding where I sat with lovely people. Despite everything I’ve managed post my earlier life to make new friends. I was charmed to finally meet the mother of one. Who made my heart purr when she announced that really she had gotten rid of her husband after 20 years because ‘she couldn’t be bothered to live with someone else’ and in her retirement has become a devotee of the most violent video games giving the geekiest dorkiest boy a good run for their money.
And today I met a friend for a walk on Portobello Beach and we followed it by errands in Ocean Terminal which evolved into trying to find the friend a grown up tutu to celebrate a photo of herself wearing one aged 5.
And yesterday before the wedding I went down to pick up a vinyl copy of my favourite album – the live recording of the last Ziggy Stardust concert. I’m too tired to set up the turntable I bought to play it on but consider it part of the same project. Not to wait for permission to do what we love and like, or hide it because its not the done thing to wear a Tutu aged 38, or video games if one is 60 plus and a woman or craft if one is a grumpy ill feminist.