Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Midweek Musing: a postcard from empty space

I have as a discipline this practice of writing a midweek musing. This week I find myself not musing about much at all, and I have been searching all day for what I might wright. I seem to have found my way to musing about the absence of thought, in something of a postcard from Adelaide.



My absence of thoughts this week is partly induced by another cold or flu or virus. This has been frustrating because I came home to Australia hoping the sun and rest would help me get over the run of illness I have experienced in the latter half of 2015. Perhaps I have overdone the socialising, allowing myself to become run down. Almost every day I have been out with family and friends. Although the depth of knowledge means we can relax, and need not speak even, there is still much to say after a year away, and many friends to see; not to mention a niece I just have to breathe in every moment I can spare.

I have also been immersed in the letter to Rome by Paul. This project at the heart of my PhD thesis is all-consuming, but not one I can write about publicly at the moment. Apart from the integrity of the thesis requiring a certain circumspection about what I publish, where and when, the nature of my pondering itself doesn't lend itself to writing just now. I do not necessarily have words, but rather intuition and feeling, emotion and buds of ideas. It is progressing more slowly than anticipated, but the letter is sinking deep into my bones, so that what I do know, I know well. I am trying to be patient, and trust a process that has developed over the past decade or more of storytelling practice.

script, water, sunlight filtered through red umbrella
rehearsal in Adelaide
Today, the inability to conjure any thoughts is largely the result of Australia's summer heat, in which one really cannot think but must slow all activity to the bare essentials, like drinking water and finding somewhere cool to sit, or lie down. My sister's cat has been stretched out on the comparatively cool tiles all day.

It has the feel of a lazy afternoon, today, 39ยบ, and I am sitting outside in the shade, enjoying the breeze, the warmth, the soft blue sky. The sky seems so much higher and broader than the dense grey, or even piercing blue above Edinburgh.

I have been keeping my sister's garden watered these past weeks, having tidied it of weeds my first week here. So the plants don't seem to be suffering too much in the heat. For now. I will have to remember to give them another drink this evening, after returning from a trip to the movies with my mum and both sisters.

Woefully ignorant of their names, I delight in the familiar calls of insects and birds, the sounds of every summer of my life bar one, at the wrong time of the year this June, July and August. I can hear air conditioners too, though not ours, as I try to resist racking up too much of an electricity bill for my sister. That is why I am sitting outside, where at least the air is gently moving.

The fresh air and filtered sunlight seem to be doing their work today, as I feel better than I have been since Sunday night. And with my feet up, and a commitment to write, I have at last found some words, some description at least of the blissful absence of too much thought. I wish you, wherever you are, such joy of stretching out into empty space.

1 comment:

Sandra Webb said...

Hi Sarah, so glad you have your feet up. Absence of thought is as important as words. I am glad you are in that place but not happy about your poor health at the moment. Hopefully you will be stronger when you go back after this time in Australia. When do you go back.
Blessings,
Sandy