It’s almost midnight and I just got out of bed, picked up my computer and various accoutrements, and came to my shed to write a blog.
It wasn’t this blog. It was an angry, fuming blog about racist neighbours** and the creeping death-by-middle-class-gulags we are facing, here in the last sliver of countryside left; the last bastion before the inevitable megalithic merging of metropolises. Here, a few hares and guineas remain. I think there’s one crane. Even the hadedas are dwindling.***
I meant it, though. That’s not the blog. Between the kettle and the computer, my brain has rebelled against negativity, and I have more exciting things to say.
This is the blog:
Today, I had two firsts.
First #1: I did a handstand.
This has only been a solid goal for a year. When I climbed back onto my yoga mat in January, I followed #alloftheyogis on Instagram, as one does. I was inspired by all these women, with businesses and jobs and children, large and small, old and young, somehow managing to carve time into their days to practice this one single thing, no matter what.
Thanks to a year away from day job office toxicity, the mental and physical strength that these women displayed did not seem out of reach to me. I set myself a goal: to do a handstand by the end of 2018. I’ve never done a handstand – not even as a kid – and it suddenly became essential that I do.
I have a confession, which isn’t, because everyone who knows me, knows:
I have, in the past, become serially obsessed with everything from playing Mario Brothers to CrossFit. These obsessions have not lasted. They fizzle, flare and die right about the time I’m expected to start putting in some effort.
It’s an effective tactic. I’ve never failed at anything. I just get ‘bored’ and move on.
I’ve worked hard for this one.
I have moved and stretched and pushed and pulled for almost 11 months. I’ve fallen on my face. My wrists have hurt. I’ve curled supine on my mat and wept.
Today, I walked to the wall and I faced it. I put my hands on the ground and spread my palms wide, pressing all ten fingerprints into the earth and rotating my shoulders outward. I breathed into my belly, pulled in my lower ribs, pushed the crown of my head into the wall and rolled my pelvis backwards. I curled my left knee to my chest and I started to lift. I kicked off the ground with my right foot and curled my right knee up and back to touch lightly on the wall. My left knee followed. I stretched both legs high above my head. I hovered in space, inverted.
I stood on my hands. It was easy. I didn’t even shake. And after a time – a breath, five? I don’t know – I floated back down.
First #2: I was published on a platform not mine.
Getting published has been on the list for a very long time. I think always. Can I say always? I don’t remember always but I feel I was born with this in me. The first story I wrote, when I was eight, was a fully illustrated sci-fi comedy adventure for my grandfather for his birthday. It encompassed a trip to the moon, complete with a monster-prank played by a crew member.****
Thus began a steady stream of poetry and stories, hundreds of them, several folders full on my computer. The best and worst of what I had written for 15 years and only some of it printed out.
When the drive crashed, I lost every word, including the ones in my head.
I was frozen for years. Not even bad poetry could tap from my fingertips, let alone anything resembling a story.
Then a couple of years ago, I started to write again – the story of how is a different one – and I began to find my voice. She was inconsistent and muffled, but I listened and what she said, I wrote, the best I could understand.
I stuck with this too. I’m sensing a pattern.
Today I was published. It’s an article about being a new entrepreneur. It took four months and a whole lot of hair-pulling and tooth-grinding but with gentle guidance from the team at OfferZen Source, and a new-found willingness to slash and burn words without argument, I produced this.
I don’t know how to close this out. It’s now 15:11 the day after the start of this writing, which went on until 01:00 this morning and I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open.
Assume pithy and relevant closing comment here. I don’t wish to delay any longer. I’ve learned how easy it is for these things to get stale and never be posted.
Remember, all things are possible.
*It was actually yesterday, but at time of starting writing it was still today, so I’m keeping it.
**NEWS FLASH, NEIGHBOURS: A few rabbits taken by hunting dogs to feed a couple of destitute families that have been doing this for at least ten years is not the reason there is hardly any wildlife left. And you, with your fucking retrievers and guns, hunting ducks in godforsaken swamps somewhere far away, where your people can’t see you, can take your “we need to protect our ‘endangered’ species in this precious space” – it’ll be gone in ten years and I’ll not be here to see it – and jump very neatly down the nearest well.*****
***I went with my mother once to the Oregon Zoo and one of the displays was of birds who flew over the heads of the audience to land on the stage. One of the birds was a hadeda, and the sound it made as it flew over us was the call of Jozi from very far away. It made us both cry. To this day, when others curse and rail at the loudness of them, I just remember how foreign and strange the silence was without them there.
****I still have it stashed somewhere in a box in my shed. If someone reminds me, I’ll dig it out and show ya.
Image 1 credit: Hadeda Ibis (Wikimedia Commons)
Image 2 credit: Yoga mat (Pexels)