I managed to spend the morning writing – work on a collaboration for an intended art installation. I was ready for it the moment I opened my eyes and set to work before I got dressed or did anything at all. We only have one usable laptop so I often have to wait my turn in the holidays, but this would not wait.
After lunch in the yard with the rabbits and Charlie we walked from our house to Dean Clough reservoir via this forest. It’s an eerie place. One time years ago some kids went there at night, took acid and cut the heads off some grazing sheep with shards of glass. I am not kidding. There’s a memorial on one of the trees of a man who fell to his death. There’s burned out fires and cider cans, embers and bottles. All scars.
I went skinny dipping here when I was a teenager. I must have been mad. It’s not allowed, it’s incredibly dangerous and stupid. I ripped my trousers on a rock and had to walk home with a gaping hole showing my ass, wet through.
The sky was broodingly grey and then turned suddenly and the blue was so pronounced Luke exclaimed it looked like the sea. He raised his little hand to it and said something deeply poetic and Steven laughed, ‘alright, Ted Hughes.’
We drank a flask of hot chocolate on a bridge and thoroughly enjoyed it. Steven gave me his coat as it was a little breezy and I felt cold.
Tonight we all sat as a family and read novels. We drank tea and coffee and read our novels greedily to ourselves. I nearly finished Nightwood, a novel which has made me laugh, gasp with delight and also furrow my brow quite often.
This is me with my ponytail and an almost furrowed brow.
I felt far less sad and empty today as I did yesterday. I think a great deal depends upon my writing. If I write, and if I write something which I feel has really hit the mark, something which I can read back during editing and know I said it almost precisely, I feel better, I feel better than better, I feel ok. I desperately, desperately rely on writing. I cannot make any sense of my experience without writing, and I can’t feel as though I’ve achieved anything unless I have written and written hard.
The sun is setting over the Methodist church behind my house, the white cross illuminated by the changing light. It used to be neon red; sometimes I think I’d like to ask them to light it up, especially when there’s a thunderstorm, it’s quite a thing to see.
The night melts away into splendid dreaming now, with two sleeping pills and a good fragment of a book. I suffered nightmares all through each night, waking regularly in terror, for months, from March through to just very recently. I thought it would never end but now I dream sweetly sometimes, and if not sweetly then intensely. I wake confused but rouse myself easily and become consumed immediately by thoughts of what I want and need to do – I set myself a high target each day and since this is the holidays and the children need me I often miss the target by a fair way.
The other day I woke in the morning around 5am and wrote this down immediately – I just found it in my red notebook:
‘Let me pull a blade from a bullet
from the weeping tongue of your mouth.’
and next to it it says ‘words from a dream spoken by Macbeth’s weird sisters.’
It’s a weird, weird world.