Free gifts

I’m getting a start on one of my NYRs on NYE. Yes, WRITING. It’s 23:27 and outside the fireworks are just getting going. (We always joke that it’s the town’s education budget going up in smoke). Indoors, it’s just me, F. and E., quietly watching TV – the way I like New Year to be these days.

Just watched the end of Season 2 of ‘This Is Us’. The one where _______ ________s. (Spoiler avert). And it happens in such an ordinary domestic way, making it more shocking. And before it happens, everyone is taking their home and family for granted, the kids all want to be somewhere else, they are bored and restless and want to go out. Not knowing that this was the last day of the rest of their lives.

I was telling a girlfriend today that at fifty-something I am all passion spent, that it’s too late and I never really ‘made it’ as a writer and why bother now. So every time I sit down to write, huge resistance sits facing me with a sneer. It is hard to avoid her eye and push through. I get bored putting down what I already know inside out, and I don’t want anyone I know to see what I am writing. Age has made me more private or more paranoid.How will I share what I feel and know, and who with?

But in the past few weeks, four friends and one angel have told me, out of the blue, that they think I have a special gift for writing. That I should continue, write poetry, fiction, memoir. Of course stupid me then thinks I hear ‘the call’ again, and puts me here at 23:40 on 31st December 2018 to get a head start on my ‘write every day’ item.

It has been a good, social, connected Christmas . Reading my 2018 diary, the recurring sadness was of isolation, alienation and the lack of community (which I created as much as anyone else) in our previous location. When we came back to this small village, we just wanted to downsize. We didn’t know that so many gifts of friendship, so many opportunities for engagement and re-engagement would be under the tree.

You can’t go out to buy apples next door without bumping into someone you know. My progress along our home street is like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, kissing the plumber’s dad, hugging the greengrocer, waving at a writer’s group buddy, murmuring greetings to dogs. Which is great on the days I can face myself and the world. The other days, I put on dark glasses and hat, wear black and do my best to avoid eye contact. But I still love being in the web of connection.

OK, I think I earned my last chocolate before Easter Sunday. Wishing whoever is out there whatever you want to happen for you in 2019. Thanks for reading.







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