Tuesday 16 September 2008
Memories in the body
Which of us doesn't feel a tide of emotion at this season, imprinted by all those years when we began the new school or college year around now? I walked right back into the concrete realities of it all, of course, coming to work most recently as a university administrator, but in all the years between it never really went away. The memories in the body, re-aroused every September - completely normal, if less than completely explicable.
From the corner of an eye I see myself facing the challenges of my busiest time in a routinely busy job, here in a tired, late-middle aged body, but still besieged by feelings of fear and ineptitude that belong to a four-, an eleven-, an eighteen-year-old. Best, then, to honour those feelings, but briefly; focus on what I treasure here and now: the feisty Autumn air and low, strong light, the scrummy socks I have to finally finish knitting before it gets cold. If my eyes had been open, at four, eleven or eighteen, to the natural world, or if I'd had an absorbing, soothing creative hobby, I'm sure these would have helped me in demanding times. I'm so very glad to have them now.
Other diversions, too: speaking of knitting, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee describes her feelings on holding her new book for the first time. Just lovely.
And this. Aw.