Yesterday was the solstice so I set the alarm for sunset, prepared a glass of wine and a song to listen to, and stopped work to sit and watch the sky darken. This was a slow and undramatic process as the sun was behind layers of dark cloud and nary a glimmer emerged; however it was a very contemplative practice to simply sit and observe and try to get my head round the fact that I’m on a tiny patch of a revolving globe and that it’s this globe that moves, not the sun.
Many truths are counter-intuitive and hard to get hold of. Sometimes the moon seems so close you feel you could reach out and touch it, or leap up and sit on the point of its crescent. Have you ever been in the country, miles from any street lights, on a clear night? The stars seem so close it’s almost threatening; yet we persist in acting as though we are separate from them rather than being in the middle. Anyway, last night at sunset I drank a glass of wine and listened to this track and read this poem which is one of my favourites.
My new CD came yesterday too. It’s a meditative one called Zen Sky and I can almost write as I listen to it, though normally I never listen to music while working because it’s too distracting. I also downloaded a really fun EP called Fake News; all of these recordings including the solstice song are by our friend, the multi-talented local musician Chris Conway. There’s no end to the instruments this man can play or the styles he can perform in, and Zen Sky features the low Irish whistle, an amazingly evocative instrument.
So that was yesterday; today I unaccountably woke up feeling crabby and resentful. Where do these emotions come from? I went to bed feeling fine and had a reasonably good night, but this morning all these unpleasant sensations had blown in like a squall from the coast. Normally I can keep a lid on the feeling that other people are far more successful than me, that they fit in more easily – or at all – that they somehow make money without making themselves miserable in the process, and have a path in life, a direction, a purpose. Well, I suppose I have a path and a direction but without (as yet) the money or success, so from time to time feelings of envy will arise, and the Christmas round robin is an excellent catalyst for them. One which arrived yesterday featured distant relatives we haven’t seen in a while who live on what appears to be a ranch in Surrey with a lake, a small wood and a massive house. What makes it worse is that they are very nice people!!!! (gnashes teeth.) Well, this is my problem and I’ll have to deal with it.
I wish they weren’t nice people and then I could hate them. I do hate the round robin though…