It is late, and I am tired, and I probably don’t really have time to say a thing, but I am saying it anyway. I am craving music for autumn that reminds me of the tussle of gold and orange leaves in a breezy English wind, tossing rain clouds from one horizon to the other, but all the music I’ve got in my new mix is downtrodden, and reminds me of just the clouds that stay, stay all morning so that you have to get up and be alive without any promise that the sun is there somewhere being alive, too, the grey grey mornings with rain that even feels half-hearted.
I am currently staying in a beautifully decorated room on the first floor flat of number 8 on the Royal York Crescent, which is apparently iconic for Clifton, which is in Bristol, which is such a lovely, lovely city and I wish every time I come here that I lived here. Bristol fills me with a sort of flame. I look at the trees and the people and the lights and the architecture and the adorable independent cafes and shops, and I feel awake and intrigued. Exeter doesn’t really have any of that. I’ve been told Totnes is really cool, so maybe we just need to venture outside a bit more to see what else the south west has to offer.
Tomorrow I have a workshop to give at an education conference, and I spent the day at my school in Brislington, and my hands are dry and cracking, and my hair is still wet from my shower, and the rain just pounded on the trees outside and I don’t know what I’m trying to say.
This is all rubbish, but it’s the rubbish that I’ve got just now, and it’s been a long time since I’ve said anything, and no one reads this really, so it doesn’t even matter if I say it or not, but it feels nice to pretend like someone’s listening.
Last night I got into Exeter around 11PM, and I rushed around to get things settled for my trip up to Bristol, and later to London, and the dog’s leash and harness and food, and in-between talking about deep stuff with PY, and finally settling down and petting my dog (whom I still love, even though he’s why we couldn’t live in Bristol) and I don’t think I properly fell asleep until 1.00AM or so, and Timmy started whining at 4.45AM, and so that’s like, not sleeping, really, and I had to get up just after 5.00 so I rolled out of bed and hazily got dressed.
I finished reading Why School on the train this morning, and then started working on a thing, and when the train pulled into the station, I really didn’t time it well, and rushed to get my things together, and the people were boarding as I was still trying to disembark, and I was so flustered, and had to pee, and was just thinking, pee, bus, and then I got into the toilet stall and was thinking, Why do I feel so light and buoyant? and with a sinking, shaking feeling of heavy onset anxiety I realized that my suitcase was still on that train. The one that just left and.
What do you do when you’ve gone and done the dumbest thing?
Well, I didn’t cry, because I am re-learning emotional suppression (yay England) and anyway, nice people were there to do constructive things to help out this stupid situation, and everything was sorted the best it could be, and obviously, retrieving my suitcase was now sort of a priority, so I emailed relevant parties, and had lots of time to think about why I probably should have just slept an extra hour instead of trying to catch the early train.
If you don’t give yourself a break and you really need one, I’ve found that the universe has a way of forcing us. You’ll catch a cold, or break a limb, or find yourself sitting in a room quietly focusing on the in-breath and out-breath as you wait for your suitcase to go to Bristol Parkway and come back.
Half an hour later, I had my suitcase, and a healthy breakfast of humble pie, and I was on my way. The rest of the day probably happened even better now that I had been properly nourished by the lessons of the universe, and I was listening to myself speak from my center, where the only thing that matters is us being the best alive we know how to be. I heard it come out of every pore. Faith came back, and hope, however, risky, and I don’t know that I am making any difference at all in my schools, but that’s silly because of course I am. But it’s just the sort of difference I’d be making anywhere else, but this is where I am, and I guess it’s where I’m needing to be.
I got an email from an old favorite student, and I smiled to be asked to write a letter of recommendation, and smiled to think of all the really amazing people I’ve had a chance to know for even a small amount of time, and sitting here now, alone in this lavendar room with orange accents, and soft blanket, and Anais Mitchell’s new album (which is not quite gold orange leaves, but maybe the fog rolling in over the fields in the early morning) and I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m trying to say. Just something, because there is so much, and you have to start somewhere.