For the past few days I have achieved no thing, nothing. I have wasted hours disappearing down the Internet rabbit hole searching; for what? No thing of importance, just searching on and on and on until finally I lose the desire to chase another half-baked wheeze researching stuff for others.

I feel bone idle. I avoid exercise, housework, deskwork, any sort of work. My head is full of shoulds and oughts, or if none are top of mind I search for one so that I can I deny myself the pleasure of painting, writing, reading a book, cooking, visiting friends or chatting on the phone. Sitting here it all seems too much effort, but I suspect pleasing myself with no agenda nor required outcome is a muscle I do not know how to exercise?

I feel sad and light. Not sad and heavy. Though about the only thing I am doing is comfort eating, so physical heaviness is the unhappy result – I am gaining more than one pound per week.

I wonder whether I am depressed,anxious, lonely, fearful? All of those possibly, but I think it is about my marking time: eeking out time until I decide to be free to choose what I want; until I allow myself the luxury of dreaming, playing, making a mess, creating without the need to tick off a listed item on the long list of responsibilities, worthy causes and commitments I have made.

I fear marking my boundaries clearly and being seen as selfish. My hare-brained modus operandi is designed to please everyone else except me: crazy.



Welsh witch/wise one

The hexagonal hut was hidden in woods overlooking the long valley from Llanidoes towards Machynlleth. Red kites soared on thermals above us as we carried food and blankets to our magical hide. The single room with its wide windows warmed up quickly as the fire in the wood burner took hold. A wooden ladder rose steeply to our beds suspended from the ceiling. Fresh sweet water rose from a bore hole; a spade was provided to bury waste matter. We laughed with childlike delight as we peed on the leaf litter with the frequency required of middle aged bladders filled with tea over talk.

Suzanne had brought olives, salads, steak, home made vegan boozy truffles; I brought the cheese and wine. We prepared our food by tea light and settled in for a cosy catch up, wise reminiscence and lots of laughter. We each drew a card from a Zen Tarot deck – mine was ‘possibilities’ – before climbing up to dream under the eaves.

Over a breakfast of chocolate croissants and coffee, followed by buttery scrambled eggs, we chattered on. My morning Tarot was ‘inner voice’, our shared trilogy: letting go, courage and mind, summing up much of what we had shared.

It is a long drive home. I stopped in Newtown: a witches emporium faced me and waiting there for me was a Singing Bowl and four directions smudge at Mid Wales bargain prices. It is too long since I have been in this woman’s company (and ‘be’ we did). Gratitude and respect to my witchy wise one for this Welsh rare bit treat.

Frog porn

Oystercatchers chase each other noisily and I imagine they are passing on the news: bistro-pond special this week only – fresh frog spawn.

It is day 4 of frantic froggy fornication. The females have a brief respite as I am in the garden and have broken up the latest game of three into one won’t go, but perhaps these females aren’t pleased with my rescue? Everything has gone exceedingly quiet; three days of constant croaking calls, especially throaty just before dusk, have ceased. No Kermit head has appeared to check and give the grrddeep to restart the rumpy-pumpy.

Early spring brings me joy to hear and see our little pond alive with amphibians and their manic mating. Four square feet of a frenzied festival of fun!

Last Wednesday morning there was ice on the pond, today mounds of black-eyed jelly balls bask in the sun warmed water surrounded by dark beds of thrusting bright green shoots and unfurling flowers bordered by a sea of nodding snowdrops. It feels time to rise from my own darkness and plant seeds.

Mandala making

This morning I look out over frosted farmland rolling under a morning mist in the lovely Lincolnshire Wolds. Daffodils and hawthorn are bursting into life and the birds flirt noisily. Martha’s cottage speaks to my soul: whispering words of wisdom, cave art and simple abundance.
Last night’s supper was cooked under dark skies burning bright with starlight. Too much red wine and tartiflette disturbed my soft sofa bed sleep, I woke early to the dawn of a new day.

My mandala hung unfinished, bedecked with strange precious pieces. A shiny three penny bit on black thread to remind me of my many shadows; this is about theft: I used to steal from my mum’s kitchen jar of saved three penny bits and secretly buy 12 farthing chews, until I was caught with a black tongue, lying despite the liquorice evidence. My pilgrim scallop shell is knotted carefully on the leather bound willow frame to remind me to journey in joy and peace. Strung from the frame and woven web are a crazily painted blown egg – my seed vision; my predator wolf marked WWLD (what would love do?); a gift of heart bells with their unique tone; a suede wrapped stone for selection and choice; rose quartz for my belief that love is the connective tissue of the universe; an emerald, my birthstone; amber, fluorite, turquoise and a medicine bag of smaller chosen stones; and a crystal that splits light into rainbows. A wooden bowl of beads sat waiting to be threaded and added to the infinity loop. With tender care I found the home for each on the pink wool web. A gentle breeze stirred the feathers: three for my children in the central core; a warning black crow’s feather for my dangerous witchy crone; three more to represent my soft vulnerability, peculiar beauty and proud vibrant pizazz (a peacock’s eye feather!) Something was missing. Awareness came. I needed wood to remind me to BE, like a rooted tree that bends and bows to the wind and weather, yet gathers its rising sap to burst into full flower and leaf each spring, losing its canopy in a blaze of autumnal glory to rest bared through the dark days, rising once again year after year, never shying from expressing itself fully. And I needed a seashell – for my longing to have a home in sound and sight of the sea. A collection from the North Sea shoreline lay beside my bed.

My mandala feels complete. I have Martha to thank for guiding me in its making, gifting her time, wisdom, magic and collected gems, threads and crafty goodies. And this was Martha’s gift to me for helping enable her to attend a wonderful women’s wholeness workshop. The giving and receiving feels whole.