It isn’t morning. It is half past one. I am trying to get back to my desk but my ten year old has got other ideas. He is hungry. He is thirsty. He wants to use the sewing machine. He wants to go to the post office. What should he do now? How late can he stay up tonight? Can he build a den in his bedrooom? Can he play Minecraft? On and on he goes until bored of firing questions at me, he lifts my computer off my lap, lies across my body and demands to be snuggled. To be tickled. To help him meditate his way to a nap he really doesn’t need.
And so it has arrived again: this barrier between me and my creative self. Not always Finn shaped, this barrier prevents anything meaningful being written. Compromises my ability to sit still long enough to write anything at all. I keep busy. I discuss the merits of Roman Reigns and The Shield and keep popping into my bedroom to stare at the mountain of mess Summer seems to have created. I simply cannot fathom where I have got to. Where she who is so organised at both my desk and on the domestic front has gone. It is always like this in summer, always the the same, and I am always, always surprised. It is a depression this. The opposite of SAD.
The weekend past in a flurry of socialising. Even when my days are empty, ripe for productive work, I run away and sit in other people’s living rooms watching television and wishing myself away to wherever it is that my Muse spends her days. And the longer it goes on, the more frightened of the internet I become. The less willing to peek inside my inbox, do my accounts or read about all the wonderful things more motivated people are dreaming up in my absence. I tell myself, feel the fear and do it anyway, but again I close the lid on the laptop and wander into the kitchen to decorate a rose jelly with pistachios and edible lavender. Nibbling at all the little something’s summer fills my fridge with: the cold snow pea and asparagus frittata, the chocolate dipped strawberries, the ice cold pineapple juice lolly ices, the vine leaves cradling fragrant rice. All of it reminders that that there is life to to be consumed, that every bite of Summer is to be relished.
Today Finn and I went the library. Yesterday we breakfasted in Starbucks and tomorrow we will go to the fair to eat candy floss and frighten ourselves out of our wits. And I am looking for her: believe me, in every nook and cranny I am searching for she who used to be my most inspired self. She who holidays in far-flung places and will likely, not return, until my son has turned eleven and donned his uniform ready for a September start of new beginnings.
Perhaps then I should not chase her. Perhaps I should not tear out my hair with frustration at my inability to do what needs to be done and should instead forgive myself. Be kind to myself. Go gently and cease worrying. But I won’t. I will seethe and rage and still no words will come. No coherent thoughts gather to help me make sense of business obligation and domestic responsibility.
I want to go gently but I cannot help but beat myself up with a great big stick in the meantime.