The last post, written on the hottest day Sydney ever experienced, did not post until just now, six days later. I am not finding the technical side of blogging as easy as everyone says.
So it’s been an exciting six days. My baggage is most unruly. For example, in my dream last night (dreams are an excellent barometer of the soul) I met the ex, outran a tsunami and survived a car crash. So it would appear that starting this blog really stirred things up. The timing was, in retrospect, tragically bad. Because grief is a lot like navigating your way through a field of landmines. You never know when the next explosion will come. Some will say that the first anniversary of a funeral is a pretty safe bet. But I made it through Christmas unscathed! So there is no guarantee, except that that it will happen, and you just need to get yourself off to your preferred form of emotional triage as soon as you can.
Speaking of which…the kind of help you offer people is often reflective of the kind of support you want for yourself. So, one time, when my sister was having a particularly atrocious time, I sent her a care package consisting of moisturiser, a bottle of one of her favourite perfumes and some pretty hair ornaments. My message went something like this. Yes dearest R, you are wading up to your neck in manure right now. And there’s nothing I can do to make that better for you. But even in the midst of disaster, you can still have lovely skin, smell pretty and have a bit of bling happening. You can still care for yourself. (This may account for the size of my earring collection.) What I uncharacteristically didn’t send her was a book.
Another friend sent me a quote about books this morning which expresses exactly my wonder of them and adoration for them. Here it is. ‘What an astonishing thing a book is. Its a flat object made from a tress with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding people together who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic. – Carl Sagan.
So this is why I perpetually buy books, and perpetually give books. Because I am bestowing the gift of creativity and wonder. These two qualities are the antidote for heartbreak, and the invitation to a richer, fuller and more delightful life.