A bit despairing today. I am like my mare: I can bear one thing, I can bear two things; it is the third thing which tips me over.
Despair is an interesting word, but it is the one I want. It indicates a kind of melancholy infected with hopelessness. It is most unlike me. It makes me realise how lucky I am, because generally I am cheerful and hopeful. I am always a bit bashed and battered around the edges, but the hopefulness keeps my engine chugging along.
There is hope, every day. There is hope that I shall write a singing sentence. There is hope that I shall do something joyful with my red girl. (This hope is, every day, fulfilled. Just think of that for a moment. I think of it. I think of it with awe.) There is hope that I shall make my mother laugh, which is important, because most of her body hurts. (Eat your calcium, I want to say to the young, banting girls. Or your poor old bones will break in a distant future you cannot imagine.) There is hope that the sun might shine, that Stanley the Dog will at last find that mouse in the feed shed, that I shall back the winner of the 2.15 at York. There is hope that I may finally, finally, answer the question of the Universal Why.
Today, there is no hope. Someone came in the night and stole it away.
Today, I am useless and pointless and feckless and there is no good in me.
Even as I write that, the voice of the older generation comes into my head, the voices of my old gentlemen, my Dear Departed. They would not say so, because they are too polite, but they would regard this as sheer self-indulgence. I can feel their stoicism, that finest of virtues, flying out of the ether. Press on, they would say. Kick on, they would say. Worse things happen in Chad.
I am usually so good at kicking on. I am slightly ashamed to say I quite pride myself on it.
Today, there is no kick. My kick has gone, galloped off over the horizon to join the circus.
Ah well. I expect it shall come back tomorrow. The circus is, it will learn, a load of buggery bollocks. It will return, slinking back with its tail between its legs.
It’s just life, I tell myself.
I tell myself, ruefully, that I am human. There is no defeat in that. Sometimes, oddly, paradoxically, bafflingly, it feels like a defeat.
At least there are pictures. There is my one true thing, my many true things – the growing things, the beloved things.
This photograph is blurry and all out of kilter, but I love it because it shows Stan the Man in all his quiddity:
These are of the garden. The garden is a mess. It is one of my despairs. In my frantic work drive, something had to give, and one of those things was the garden. It is where the wild things are. Yet it still has these beauties in it: