Saturday, February 07, 2009

DIARY 94 - The Shock Of Things Staying The Same

When they said it was going to be the worst winter weather for eighteen years, I was not unduly alarmed. So far as Cambridge goes that's really not saying much. We had a couple of inches of snow, instead of the usual thimble full. So it was all quite distressing. As ever the snow itself in its pristine freshly fallen state, was a visual delight. White foamy lumps and layering on everything. It was the slush and half thawing ice that followed you had to be wary of - lethal stuff! Then there was the gauging how many layers to wear, shoes v boots, walk or cycle to work. These were now highly important questions, vital not to get wrong. Otherwise, you'd find yourself slipping all over the place in shiny soled shoes, held up solely by your bike, that you're gripping onto for dear life, like I was on Tuesday morning. Ever hopeful that the snow would be short lived, I was caught short by my own expectant optimism.

Dealing with this slush of discontent may or may not have been a contributory factor in my feeling persistently tense this week. There has been a taught muscular band across the middle of my chest all week, most noticeable when I woke up in the morning. I've not found really relaxing easy. Move wise, financially, all the bills are now in from BT and electric, so we now know what our outgoings will be. It's our incoming money we're still waiting for,such as how much of our deposit returns from our letting agents, and if any money at all will come back from the council tax. I've found working with work,and my team, on top of coping with the weather,a strain at times.

This last weekend, we finally found a home for David and I's remaining kitchen stuff. This involved a good rooting about in, and turning out of the communities cupboards. If you've ever lived communally you'll recognise the scene. There are always lots of really odd stuff abandoned in the kitchen, with no apparent owner, gathering an oily patina, flocked with dust, ingrained and otherwise. No one will risk throwing it out,however gross a health hazard it might be. It might cause an unexpected outburst of indignation from someone in the community whose precious supply of dried shitake mushrooms you've ruthlessly evicted, because it was merely seven years passed its 'best before' date. In a Buddhist community where we all practice renunciation, and non-attachment to material possessions, this obviously wouldn't be likely to happen, would it? You'd be suprised, if not shocked, I'm afraid. Anyway, regardless, we threw some of the dirty deeds away. Mostly it was on the micro level, deciding how many varieties of measuring jugs we really needed readily to hand. The rest were sent below for storage, because that's what our cellar is for.

With this final vetting of personal and community objects done with, what then? I found I was more than a little bored during Saturday afternoon and evening. I seemed consumed by a state of mind that was resolutely unable to just be with what was, wanted to do something useful or meaningful, but lacked the initiative to either choose one, or having chosen, to get on with doing it. This not knowing what to do, can turn back in on me - the reason why your bored and finding things meaningless, is because your dull and shallow. I tried more cleaning therapy, and attacked the admittedly grubby walls of the bathroom on our landing. A sense of achievement failed to materialise from doing this, only frustration. So instead I endured moping around like a recently divorced man, whose just lost his job and his beloved dog, his only true companion had died from a wretched skin disease. Well, not quite that serious, but you know, it was truly serious, grim, mordantly important stuff I was grappling with. Pah!!

I think I've spent so much of my time in the last month planning, packing, preparing to move, then unpacking, cleaning, tidying and organising the practicalities of our new life in a community. The lack now of this obvious way to occupy my time productively, does leave an empty feeling of being abandoned to a life of inactivity, when it stops. Now this activity is largely over and done,and the excitement of the move is passed, so what comes next? My tendency then is to look for further excitement and fresher faced developments in ones life. How could this new lifestyle be made so much better, than it already is? Do I go back to my writing, or do some painting for a change, or take up something else entirely unexpected and radically new? On a personal level, things returning to how they were before the move, is just not on. Everything must change in response to moving. Everything must move on, and that includes me.

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