Oh ~ it’s a time for a catch up. It’s been such a busy couple of weeks!
- I’ve been visiting the past
“The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.” LP Hartley
In this foreign country, people wear oversized snow washed denim jackets and white scalloped lace communion dresses. They cut their hair into short tufts and make it shiny and stiff with gel. Libraries are stuffed with trashy novels with twisted plots centring around women with magic hair and cruel parents.
It is here that people tend babies in terry nappies and flowered rubber pants, and try to balance a life split between raising a toddler and undergraduate studies in literature. Sadly, they also spend years trapped in anxiety and depression without knowing what’s happening to them or that it is something for which they could ask for help.
I have lived in this country, communicated as a native and followed its customs. But it seems that now I barely understand its most basic vocabulary. We no longer speak the same language. I am a tourist in the past.
2. I’m falling in love with sunset strolls
At this time of year, sunsets fall somewhere after seven and before eight, for me a perfect time to take a walk. As I do, I pass by so many houses where sofas and faces are turned away from windows and towards a supersized t.v. If these heads turned from the screen for one moment, they would see an astonishing sky, splashed with a palette of steel, terracotta, cerise and cerulean. A great deal more inspiring than the One Show, no matter who the guest is.
Still, if too many people caught the sunset stroll habit it wouldn’t be the same for me. Part of the magic is that there are so few people on the streets or in the park (only the dog walkers ~ I have started thinking of myself as a dogless dog walker). This time of transition makes it feel that I am part of the privileged few who get to watch the day being put to bed. The sunset is a borderland that I get to patrol.
3. I’m becoming a wild woman
My eldest son started university 300 miles away, and so he is not the only one to be starting a new phase in his life. If I am blessed with a long life, then right now I am entering the third quarter of it. I have passed through girlhood and motherhood, and so I hopefully have twenty years of being a wild woman ahead of me before becoming a sage old crone.
What is a wild woman? She is an archetype whose life is turning from fertility towards an inward looking creativity. She strikes out on her own, trusting her instincts, relying on experience, and is unafraid if her path becomes a little, ahem, lairy. She is seeking truth.
I think I’ve already crossed the threshold.
For more about the wild woman archetype Women Who Run With The Wolves
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