I Wish I Could Tell You…


Posted by in September's Magazine

I’ve lost my voice. Not my physical voice you understand. Get yourself along to Star of the Sea come Sunday morning and you will still find me belting out a bit of The Lord’s my Shepherd. I mean my writing voice. Just can’t get the words out. I’ve lost my Va Va Voom…

And there’s so much I want to tell you about, we have so much to discuss don’t we?

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I want to tell you about my vegetable patch at the community croft. How I have planted my beetroots too close together so they are small and my carrots too close together so they all have legs (and sometimes willies too) but that THAT’S OK, I made a mistake, I will know better next time.

And about how I am reading a book about sword-fighting which is amazing and, you know, its really helping me with my pole-dancing because you see both sword-fighting and pole-dancing are all about FEAR and how important it is to overcome it. And you see I am quite into that because I once read this thing about how the opposite of love isn’t hate its fear, and if you think about it, if you set yourself the task, you can look at every single crappy thing that’s happening and think ‘is this about love versus fear’? And it pretty much always is.

And how I know that when I can’t make decisions and I am feeling overwhelmed (which I am) then I just need to be guided by one question. What is the loving thing to do, and what is the fearful thing to do? And to do the loving thing, which of course is very difficult because it’s very scary.

Wrong Tolstoy
And I wish I could tell you about how my little boy has started school, and he’s beautiful, and each time he walks out of the doors smiling I feel like my heart is exploding into a million pieces and… and he isn’t my baby anymore. And he says they aren’t doing learning yet, not until they can write, but he can only write ‘POO’ and he thinks that’s a bit rude for school.

About how my little girl has lost her first tooth, but she already doesn’t believe in the tooth fairy and she knows Santa isn’t real. And about how now she can read books by herself so she sits up late at night with a torch in her bunk-bed, reading everything she can get her hand on from beginning to end and I am so excited at this whole new world opening up to her. But how she definitely isn’t my baby anymore. And how I can’t quite get used to not having any babies, arms that don’t push prams anymore, hips that don’t carry toddlers, just all not sure what to do with themselves.

It’s all change. And I wanted to tell you about some quote from Tolstoy, because let’s face it when we are all at sea all we can ever really do is look for the right bit of Tolstoy, about how important change is, how change is what makes us alive, but I can’t find the quote so I might have got it wrong. And I wonder if that’s what I should do next, write a book of the greatest quotes never made in Russian Literature, because well, I think it would be an angle at least, and we’ve all got to have an angle.

But when I was not finding the change quote I found all this stuff about our true liberty, that the only real freedom we have is to sort of plod along in our pursuit of truth. Tolstoy puts it better than that, but you can’t be bothered to read it so you are stuck with my version.

He says that we are like oxen or something, all tied together pulling something along, and the only freedom we have is whether to dig our heels in until the whole thing falls over and we get stomped on, or to help pull the cart, knowing that out liberty is in enjoying what we have and staying true to ourselves. He also says that hypocrisy is like, the worst thing ever; because once you have a bit of it somewhere it gets everywhere.

Love/Fear stuff
And I think this is what I have to remember if I am going to get my voice back. Because at risk of another poorly quoted analogy, De Mello (the man who says the Love/Fear stuff) also talks about a Chinese proverb, that he who aims his arrow for gold misses because he is dazzled and gets double vision. And I think over the past while that’s happened to me. I have been a bit dazzled by the things I thought I wanted, and a little bit swayed by hypocrisy, a bit too fearful and not loving enough, and not focused enough on plodding along remaining in the truth. But that’s okay. I made a mistake.

I’ll know not to plant my beetroots so close together next time.

Twitter: @fraser_sally

One response to “I Wish I Could Tell You…”

  1. njalsdottir says:

    That's a brilliant piece of writng, Sally, and very much what I am feeling today, love and fear.

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