Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I can't think about the world today.
I know that is the kind of thing that a privileged person living in an open democracy can say. My bleeding liberal heart feels oddly guilty about it. It is a strange form of magical thinking: as if I, in my distant Scottish room, have some sort of moral duty to contemplate the events in Cairo. It is as if my irrational mind believes that I could make things better in Tahrir Square by the mere act of paying attention. It is absurd, but then the more I write this blog, the more I realise I am a creature of absurdity.
I can't do the world, because my sleep patterns are still erratic and I have bashed out 1032 words and that's all the hard thinking I am capable of today. My cerebellum has gone to hell and that's all she wrote.
Outside, there is the suspicion of snow. There is the smell of cold and metal in the air. A hurried wind from the North-West is pushing stray leaves about; they make little scudding, clicking noises as they hit the ground. The ancient chug of my boiler reassures me that I may stay warm as the weather grows cold again. The light is very pale, washing the colour out of everything.
I return to thoughts of the domestic. I must take my library books back and make some soup for my mother. If I were very good, I might tidy the fridge (that cauliflower really does need eating up). It's not revolution and high politics, but it is life, Jim, pretty much as we know it.
Pictures of the day are of the morning walk. I set out into the freezing cold with only one glove, stupidly. (No idea where the other one is.) I stumped crossly into the wind, my fingers starting to go numb, thinking I should only stay out for five minutes. The day was dank and dour and there was no pleasure in it. But then the dogs starting having their customary lovely time, and I found some buds and a bit of lichen I liked, and a good song came on the iPod and I sang along, only slightly out of tune, and suddenly there was a point. The wind became bracing instead of angry; I found fascination in seeing how the low light had changed the colours of everything since yesterday. I smelt the coming snow and marvelled at the clarity of the air.
Lichen on tree:
Wall and leaves:
More washed-out trees:
I love this tree root. It looks like an antediluvian dinosaur's claw:
I am slightly obsessed with this pile of logs. They have been recently cut, and I stare at them each day with as much pleasure as if they were an art installation:
The delicacy of the young tree trunks:
My dear old hedge, which got a brutal cutting at the end of last season, as I had let it grow entirely out of hand. Now I think it looks almost like a sculpture:
Harbingers of spring:
The lesson I keep repeating to myself in my head is: even on the dullest, rawest day, there is something beautiful to look at, if only I open my eyes.
And on beauty -
Contemplating the best way to jump over the cattle grid:
I am thinking about it:
And off we go:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair:
I have no time for poetry, I just want a BISCUIT:
Today's hill, in a low sort of mauve. If you look very closely, you can see the tiny black specks in the trees which are a clattering of jackdaws, taking their ease:
One final thought:
I have been thinking lately that my tendency to bang on a bit and dash off on tangents means that these blog posts are often too long. People have busy lives and can't be wading through acres of online prose each day. I resolved to be more pithy. But today, I have given you a brief blog, and my irrational feeling is that somehow I have short-changed you.
This is odd, since many of the blogs I love the most are composed of nothing more than two or three lines and a photograph. It also interests me that I have an idea that there is a right or a wrong. (I know I have spoken of this before, but it is an enduring idea as I wrestle with an entirely new medium.)
I love doing this blog, and I do it for pure pleasure. I have also found that it is a good discipline for writing. Yet somewhere, in the back of my mind, is always the idea that there is some mysterious gold standard to which I should aspire. (At this point, my sister would laugh her head off and say, yes yes, that damn perfectionism which we have both inherited. It does not matter how many psychology books one reads or shrinks one sees, one can never quite shrug off that perfection genie.)
And now I must go and check on the soup.
PS. Of course the great irony is that by the time I finished musing on the brevity of this post, it was not brief at all, but the usual rambly tangle of thoughts. Perhaps that is the point of the whole shooting match: not diamond-sharp coherence, but entirely human ramble.