Thursday, May 8, 2014

scattering signs

Writing with the too-familiar view out of Fisher library on my favourite sort of day to view it, with a grey sky and the park at its greenest, the trees still. I am knitting an infinity scarf in these colours, willow on shadow, in double moss stitch - like moss on stone - and infinity is a wish as well as a convenient fashion for riding on a bicycle, no dangling ends.

Autumn the time to plant my thoughts in the straight furrows of sentences. This morning I woke early to pick up an (unexciting) package from the post before heading in to uni. I stood in line in a laneway out the back of the Marrickville post office with the other early morning package collectors, waiting for drab boxes and vacuum sealed envelopes, handed out over a completely practical, industrial window - such a contrast to the shiny red and white world out front. I thought about how internet shopping will be the new life breath of the post, and about the lost habits of correspondence, an ordinary thought, but which pulled me back to writing for me. I've fallen into old habits with my third assignment, but with minor victories on the ones preceding (on time, complete). They mean less than they should, the victories, and so again I am feeling stuck. This week the mantra has been "this is not all that you are". I had an appointment with my psychologist booked yesterday, postponed till next week because of illness (hers), and so I feel suspended in crisis - holding out, waiting. My right arm is beginning to get the ache of what I fear will become RSI, but I can't really rest it, not with 2000 words to finish and submit by Sunday night, and the imperative to keep going to yoga at least three times a week, to make membership worth the money.

Whenever we are out at a gig or similar and privy to a bit of gratuitous raunch - burlesque, carnival dancers at a dancehall night - Ben makes a point of turning his back to it entirely, facing me, and kissing me very sweetly. We went on a date on Wednesday night, to a bar-as-loungeroom in Glebe and then to an awful pan-European restaurant in the east - not awful because of inauthenticity, but because it was too authentic, reminding me of all my worst meals living in Germany, corners cut and technique (vital everywhere north of Italy or France, where good produce cannot carry a meal) reduced to frying. It upset me, reminded me of all the worst things about living in Germany, the loneliness of my year abroad, the feeling of heaviness that pervaded my entire life, my head. Driving home, we pulled into a side street in the Mascot industrial zone and lay the seats down, ill from the stodge, and talked about the nature of crisis, the middle class sense of exceptionalism, the devastation caused by expected or routine upheavals, and different types of economic migration (that undertaken by my Italian peasant grandparents to Australia, that which B's South African friend Jarad is currently finding difficult, as an academic bound to wherever work is). Hypothesis: the very poor do not expect to find solutions for their problems, suffering is simply part of life, their limited audience for their problems presents alternative ways of valuing the individual that do not lie in "solving" these problems, but it bearing them. Crisis is of audience and agency, which we feel entitled to. This is the problem of rights emerging again - the right to self-determination is absolutely not the thing itself.

It was a one year anniversary date, I suppose, not sentimental in its execution but still I am feeling very tender for the intimacy that the year has brought, for what Ben has shared of himself with me. A resolution to make the space for my "life" - friends, writing, rest and solitude - around the necessary struggle.