This liminal time between the overhyped Christmas and the resumption of workaday life is always a gentle grey. Fluffy, like fog, but warmer. Enclosing.
In amongst the vaguely smothering feelings caused by way too much chocolate and loneliness, I’m struggling to pull myself forward, knowing full well the sun will come out and life will resume in all its busyness and glory, laughter and foolishness.
But for now, I wallow, in full goblin-mode, hair unwashed, teeth brushed but without my usual enthusiasm, waiting to feel the rumblings of my self restarting. I do things that are restful to the little grey cells (as Poirot would have called them), watching movies and stitching, saving my creativity for another time, when the rootlets I am feeling stirring push their way towards the light.
Because I can feel them. Much like the lengthening of the days past midwinter, I can feel creative things returning to bright. They are nascent as yet, tender, at risk of being flattened by too much enthusiasm. Baby steps, I tell myself. They need gentle encouragement. Any more and I will frighten them away.
Even now, thinking about things, I find myself wondering what it’s all FOR, really. Why bother to write, to try new things, to care? Who will even notice?
This way darkness lies. Bad darkness, the kind with gnashing teeth and despair. I’ve spent some time there and I DON’T LIKE IT. In truth, we all live with the deception that what we do matters. It’s the only way we can get up in the morning and go on. To do this we need to mend the little rips that occur, when we are let down, when we fail, when we are alone. Stitch them over with colourful threads, make any injuries part of the pattern, livening it up with each hurt. So I pull at the rough edges of my self, bring out the bright coloured ribbons, weave myself together. We can all do this. But slowly, gently. We have to fool ourselves into it, turn the mirrors to the wall while we reassemble, stop judging every movement.
I start slowly, planning, holding myself to my magic of ten minute increments. I learned years ago that the only way I can make myself do anything is to tell myself I will only promise to do it for ten minutes. I don’t frighten away the creative gods if I tell them I won’t ask them for much, not this time. Let’s just play for a moment, I tell them. And they agree.
Gradually, the grey recedes, a bird sings, a song on the radio speaks to me, my feet remember how to dance. And my fingers find the keyboard and words fly about. Most of them will need honing, adjusting, but for now, I let them blow by, rejoicing in their return.