A Small Life

Today was a small day- one of the smallest since March. I got up, had a crumpet and tea, read some poetry. Then went for a walk, I had some errands to run, all the while listening to a book. Came home, book in ear, and reorganised my room. Then I lay down. Back on my newly made bed with the same audiobook on. The book was ‘birds, art, life,death’ by Kyo Maclean. I stumbled upon it serendipitously that morning in my efforts to not listen to the same 20 songs on repeat again. This book contained me- in my current state- packaged in gentle prose. With each wandering sketch, I saw myself and the thoughts that make me in them. This book shook back into me my remembrance of my love for reading, finding myself in the other, getting lost in another universe to plumb my own. That book gave me a warm embrace, when I needed it. Sometimes I find myself of track. Not in a life goal sense, rather in a zen mindset kind of way. I feel angry, on edge and through literature I can see my state reflected for what it is- a minor blip which I’ve stretched out like in a circus window. In this state of mind I focus on the surface of things rather than rationalising the deep structure, thus antagonising myself further. Literature takes me out of that cycle, occupies me paradoxically elsewhere and honestly within myself. So I lay on my bed, and finished the remaining two hours of the book.

If you are a female reader of my blog then you will be aquatinted with the relaxing experience of a long shower and skincare session. So following my lethargic lying down on my freshly made bed, I did just that. Skincare is liberating- as Mernissi describes in detail in Dreams of Trespass- this feminine ritual is close to sacred.

In the evening we went out for dinner. I enjoy observing people. I also enjoy observing ducks; at Sixthform I would look forward to lunch where I could go and sit on a bench att the lake in St James Park. Each bird has its own personality- the lady’s man, the preener, the snoozer. I wonder what they think… about living, about me staring at them. In a strangely similar fashion, I enjoy going to restaurant or sitting in parks, watching people yet inhabiting my own sphere. These individuals and their families exist in their own bubble and I my own. There is an indescribable feeling of being with other humans in places buzzing with life. I feel like I exist. If I wasn’t there then the restaurant at that time would not be the same. My side profile would be caught in their family photograph, photographic evidence of my existence. But it’s more than that, being part of a group in a specific place at a specific time- you exist because you are part of the group. I don’t think I’m explaining myself very well, no change there, but perhaps somethings are better left unexplained.

What does it mean to exist? How do we exist after death? Sensuality, is that a pervasive force of existence- to be able to share your mind with another, to touch in a metaphorical and literal manner? So many questions, perhaps questioning allows you to know you exist.

There is something about not knowing a person. In the restaurant there was a man who reminded me of someone, my thoughts spiraled because of the similar body build and facial features. People show you parts of yourself (your thoughts) that you don’t want to see- and perhaps it’s strangers more than anyone else who have that power. Those who we love know us too well and vice versa, and revelation becomes farther between.

I feel like I’m running out of time. That I have so many things I want to do. But I want to keep living my small life, where I can exist expansively in my mind yet do very little. But this time warp seems finite, and it’s coming to an end. I’ve enjoyed it greatly, putting puzzle pieces together that have been strewn about and neglected.

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