Retreat Day 1: a bolt hole from the world…..


Here I am … slept like an irritable mog who can’t ruffle up the cosy cot enough to be happy.

It was grim at 7am – no rain but a very sullen face on the sky hanging around up there wondering what to do…. It looked like it too had woken up too early. Damn… no milk. I wish I were a vegan or something as I’d know what to do. I find that. Those skinny (no slight intended here!) vegans I know always seem to know what to do about food….. I don’t get it somehow…. but then they are the ones who still drink soya milk….. so, maybe not such a good plan to envy them, or anyone else, as we all end up as dust in the end anyway…..

A dear friend of mine was batting ” What the hell” up into the air with almost a singing tone to her voice last week…. “Yeah, what the hell” said I….. “What the’trucking’ hell does any of it matter at the end of the day?” ( I have coined the word ‘trucking’ as a substitute for an expletive my daughter typo-ed yesterday!) I mean, we have lived this life into our sixties and are tired… (are you tired too?) yep, wretchedly exhausted with having to meet everyone else’s targets, other people’s requirements and desires for us. People think they know you and quite frankly, I have spent most of my life wondering who the ‘truck’ I am, so how on earth they think THEY know, I have no idea! No doubt an idealised image of what they want me to be, through their own personal filter in their mind’s psychological computer.

I had to go out…. I had to get some milk and ended up with a few other things too, including a charity shop purchase, for 80p two children’s books ….. I drove to Overstrand and sat in the car park where I read one of them…. you see, I am doing things I don’t normally do and refraining from things I DO normally do! Reading a children’s book is such a delightful thing to do if, and only if the illustrations are bothered over…. I mean, the stuff our children and grandchildren are subjected to these days in the way of picture books, well why do some people bother!….. I climbed into “Puddle Street” on those pages, in the snow (in a blazing hot Sunday afternoon in September on the edge of the sea in Norfolk!) and felt the cold frosty whiteness all around me as the children delivered Christmas stockings to everyone’s door in the village…. I mean, you know, you just can’t let these delicious little books be ALL for the kiddies, can you? My inner child went into the book to play; what a great time she had …..

I’m avoiding noise, television, radio….. people. I am allowing the silence. I am noticing I need probably at least two more weeks than these three little days can provide. I knew that would be the case but even so, the coming down out of the gear which keeps me pushing on in the same old rut as this society just ‘loves’ to be in, is not an easy task. It’s laced with arsenic, slippery greasy ropes and angst as I try to haul myself back to me and I ask…. Will I be forever trying to escape the clutches of the ancestors trying to pull me down into the pit….? For me, the person I am, is wanting to unzip this baggage and step out, as myself – not a michelin man substituting for a member of the family.

I come, driven mad
by hungry spectres within
and without, who pluck
the fibre of my being
loose like stuffed toys squeezed empty.

And it’s all a journey. Now that I have stuffed my stuffing back in, I shall go back to my meditation chair and ponder on the state of resistance…..

……do comment if you would like to, if you dare…. we are all on the conveyor belt to eternity in one form or another though we don’t have to be singing from the same score!


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