Friday, 25 March 2011

Be Still Small Voice

Occasionally a strong sense of stillness washes over me. It's like I've opened a window to something and am hearing things more clearly in the silence.

I remember the last time this happened, I was looking around the room I was in. All the objects were bringing back memories, like mismatched pieces of jigsaw puzzles, from different periods of my life. The old lantern slides from my childhood, my father's academic and professional certificates rolled up and tied with green ribbon, representing everything from the war to his passion for chemistry, books and DVDs different members of my family have brought into the house through the years. Games stacked up, with laughter folded into the boards inside. Small gifts from friends, a wedding present in a frame on the wall, a tapestry stitched by my mother, the piano somehow still reverberating from all the tunes played on it. A camping stove stowed under the desk, with a few blades of dried grass from Devon still stuck to it.

It felt like every sense was jangling and waiting to be called upon in some way. Like great poetry should flow from my pen, or a masterpiece from a paintbrush. I was either about to cry forever, or feel a great weight lifted from my shoulders.

Moments like this remind me that we are functioning on different levels, one part of us is moving along the conveyor belt of life, getting up, getting dressed, going to work and seeing to hum-drummery, but that there is also a river flowing through us all the time.

Occasionally you get to put your hands in the water and take a sip.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Bellringers' Arms

It sounds like a pub, but actually it was an affliction I was suffering from a while ago having experienced a bellringing training day. I didn't really notice, until I went for a swim, and found raising my arms over my head more arduous than usual.

I've also just been on another training morning, and now have blisters on my fingers from wrestling enthusiastically with the rope. I hadn't really considered it an extreme sport before, but am starting to change my mind.

I also occasionally suffer from rowers' arms. In fact, I can see why my bingo wings have disappeared lately, they've turned into solid muscle. I noticed this at work, when a couple of people were warning me not to lift a particularly heavy flip chart stand. I felt quite smug as I picked it up and wandered off, thinking it didn't weigh anything compared to the wooden skiffs I help fling around twice weekly. I am also quite nifty at hauling 25kg bags of coal around, so I think I am officially a bit of a toughie. It's good not to be a feeble weed - and strangely, typing that has reminded me of the whiney voice of Little Weed on the Bill and Ben programme I watched as a child. Being 500 has its benefits, you can recall these things that more youthful mortals missed out on. On that theme, you really couldn't beat the Wooden Tops for fun. OK, so it was black and white and you could see the strings, but it didn't stop it all being totally real.

I've also always liked wicker picnic hampers, maybe I'm waiting for Andy Pandy and Looby-Loo to appear.