1556 words today.
I’m really pleased about that.
It’s been a funny week. I’ve felt really quite happy and suddenly very sad. I’ve been harried and fretful, and then sailed back into calmer, more optimistic waters. Four people have performed real acts of kindness and generosity. The dogs have been delightful and athletic and funny. I have worked hard at my HorseBack work. The house went from chaos back to faintly respectable.
The house will never be entirely respectable. I thought this morning: if you have a job and two horses and two dogs and do voluntary work and cook breakfast each morning for your dear Stepfather and have a mother to grieve, something has to give. In my case, it is the house. My organisational skills are not stellar at the best of times, and at the moment I am stretched to my limits.
But even though the house sometimes looks as if it has been ransacked by crazed teenagers, when a small amount of tidiness is restored I remember that it has books in it, and lovely pictures, and photographs of all the people I love, and dear objects that have been given to me by best beloveds, and pretty pieces of glass, and precious things that I have picked up on my travels, from the days when I did travels. Sometimes, I am so blinded by the muddle that I start scolding myself and forget all the beautiful things and only see the tottering piles and the old copies of the Racing Post and the sad bags waiting to go the charity shop which never seem to get there. It’s important not to miss the beautiful things, which I am so lucky to have.
I realise now that I have absolutely no idea what I wanted to write here today. I think I had something important to say, but I’ve quite forgotten what it was. When I wake up in the morning, my brain starts revving up like a frantic Maserati whose engine is wound too tight. By the time I have cleaned my teeth, I have written acres of prose in my head, contemplated some existential conundrum, thought of three new book ideas, argued a point with an annoying guest on the Today programme, mapped out this blog, rewritten this blog, wondered why I do this blog, stared my To Do list in the whites of its eyes, fallen into a reverie over the comedy stylings of Stanley the Manly, decided what work I want to do with the red mare that morning, worried about the eighteen things I worry about, told myself sternly that worry is an entirely pointless emotion, and castigated myself for my lack of time management. That’s all before I leave the house.
This sounds dangerously like boasting. Oh, look at me, with my jazz hands and my antic brain. In fact, I see it as a bit of a weakness. I’d love a quiet mind. All this mental shooting about does not get me that far, because so many of the thoughts and ideas tumbling about in the tangential corridors of my mind are lost, never to be reclaimed.
There is a hamster wheel aspect to the whole thing. Mental discipline, says the Mary Poppins in my head; spit spot. It would be delightful to have mental discipline. Perhaps I could develop some. I schooled the mare in straightness this morning; that was, in the end, what I decided on. (I see where we are on any given day, and then choose the aspect which needs work and will amuse us both.) I was very disciplined about that. We started off rather wonky, and ended up ravishingly straight. If I can do that with a thoroughbred, perhaps I can do that with my own mind. A little daily schooling of the cerebellum. That’s the ticket.