Interrogating the cracks

Cracks are beginning to appear.

We’re getting on each other’s nerves, the ‘Woman Who Lives in My Head’ and I.

She seems obsessed with the news, the latest depressing COVID19 statistics, the increasing signs of a temporary (albeit necessary) nanny state, the never-ending uncertainty. I tell her I’m sick of hearing about it.

‘You!’ she says, pointing an accusatory finger, ‘you’re the one who likes to be informed, who is curious about the way the world works.’

‘Well, yes,’ I explain patiently. ‘But there comes a point where dwelling on such things threatens my mental health and so I back off. I prefer to work on keeping my family communication lines open, Skyping my interest groups, chatting online with friends.’

‘What if they’re just illusions?’ she says. ‘What if they only exist in your mind?’

I’ve already been down that path. I could be the only person left on the planet … but for plenty of contradicting evidence. So I point out to her the things that are ‘real’ for me. The things that get me up each morning, that nourish my optimism.

You may remember me writing about my catteleya orchid buds. Well, here are the blooms.

Gratitude: for the love of friends and family; for my health; for having access to food, shelter; and soul nourishing things like tending my garden, listening to music, having books to read. I’m grateful for technology which keeps me connected to online communities of family and friends like those on WordPress. For the random good luck of being born in a country like Australia.

Time: to contemplate my reaction to these events, to reflect on personal growth; to ponder on what is truly important; to pursue interests I haven’t had time for in the past.

Grateful for a sense there are seeds of kindness sprouting amid the disaster.

‘Well, now you’re becoming boring and preachy,’ she huffs. And maybe she’s right. Although telling others how to traverse difficult times is beyond me and never my intention. I simply want to understand and share my story. Others will have far more difficult stories to tell. But those are for them to relate.

I like to imagine a thriving, global garden of stories, defining us as a species, evoking compassion, showing us how other people live their lives. Helping us appreciate our own.

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.


― Philip Pullman

26 responses to “Interrogating the cracks

  1. Such a pertinent post, Robyn. There’s a woman inside my head too, and she’s behaving in the same way as the woman inside yours. She needs a jolly good talking to and there’s no time like the present to make a start. Thanks for reminding us to be more grateful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha! Jane, there are more of these women than people imagine. Once we acknowledge them, they can actually help identify and sort out our fears. I’m glad you are giving her a good talking to. Keep up the good work and stay well.

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  2. Some kind of conversation we can have with ourselves. But then, it keeps us very much sane and able to forge ahead with levelheadeadness. Interesting and inspiring post, thank you and keep safe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said, Rob. I have to keep reminding myself that this period WILL come to an end, and hopefully we will come out the wiser. Keep blessing us with your wise ponderings!

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    • Thank you dear Meggie. Oh, if only I could follow my own advice all of the time. This whole COVID19 exercise has been a huge j-curve of learning. Writing about it has helped me sort out my feelings – and those kind enough to comment have given valuable insight as well. I just remembered Leonard Cohen’s song about cracks which let the light in. I hope this is the case for our broken world and as you say, we learn something from it.

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  4. Dear Robyn Such amazing thoughts – shared by many others. They are brave too. Often we hide our frustrations. When I do this I get into a terrible muddle as one emotion collides with another. In the shorter time I have learned to live with my emotions and to appreciate the wonders of all that within my bounds – my garden, home and of course my family. They are not readily accessible but their thoughts are with me, mine with theirs. Robyn, within my bounds I reflect on your earlier entry of appreciating all we have within our own precious spaces. I took great courage from these thoughts as I look around at my own spaces here and as I delight in them I am preparing for surgery on Friday – o[em heart. I’m sure all will go well but at this time I see things very clearly as I wonder along the path and look at the blooms on the camelias that we planted in late Autumn. Each day I look at their unfolding petals and the bees that seek the pollen amongst the golden stamens. Keep up thinking and sharing your thoughts. Love

    Elly eepeeler41@gmail.com Mobile 0459 333 313

    On Sun, 12 Apr 2020 at 12:37, Big Dreams for a Tiny Garden wrote:

    > Robyn Haynes posted: ” Cracks are beginning to appear. We’re getting on > each other’s nerves, the ‘Woman Who Lives in My Head’ and I. She seems > obsessed with the news, the latest depressing COVID19 statistics, the > increasing signs of a temporary (albeit necessary) nanny” >

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think you may need to pour that woman in your head a nice cool drink and tell her to go and sit out in your garden for a while and enjoy those utterly gorgeous orchids… 🙂 I like the idea of the global garden of stories – they are important in many ways!

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  6. I’m glad there’s communication between you and your inner self, Robyn. I am struggling with mine at the moment who keeps telling me that we (my husband and I) don’t have enough food, when actually we do. I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time in the past few weeks since this started trying to find online deliveries of essentials. Thankfully have managed it, but that niggling little voice still keeps saying “you might not be able to get a delivery slot… you might not be able to find (such and such)… you’ll starve….” which is nonsense if for no other reason than the kindness of other people in these times: there are now more people willing to help each other than before.

    Be well. x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Val, I think its perfectly normal behaviour (according to Darwin) to protect supplies going into the unknown. The woman in your head seems to have a dominating voice at the moment – nothing at all to do with being rational. Take comfort in the knowledge you’re not alone. Stay safe. x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s hard to strike a balance between getting the latest information and overdosing on news. I was watching much more than I am now because it just got too much – a whole news programme with nothing else in it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So much of social media, news feeds and TV is the same, Andrea. I don’t always achieve a balance. I’ve found that if I restrict myself to certain times of the day to catch up on news, I can control the impulse to be constantly checking. Above all, be gentle with yourself.

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    • Thank you Kim. It’s a small kindness we bloggers can do for each other – offer succour and grace. I hope we all continue to do it as a global community when we emerge from these uncertain times. It occurs to me as I write these last words – when are times ever certain? Is it simply a case of magnitude? Or where we were born? Something for me to ponder. Stay safe Kim.

      Liked by 2 people

      • And what a global community we bloggers are! I had no idea, when I first began a simple garden blog a couple of years ago, that I’d meet so many lovely and like-minded women from all over the world. Now, with this coronavirus thing, we are able to connect via our garden stories we share and the personal notes of encouragement we send and receive. In that sense, this pandemic has been a blessing in disguise, a beam of light emerging from behind a massive, dark cloud. Let us remind ourselves of the anonymous quote from somewhere that “when the world wearies and ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.” I’m going there today, soon as I get the laundry done.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My feelings exactly Jo. I like the way you see the positives. The sun always shines above the clouds attitude that you have. I wonder what our lives will be like on the other side of this global emergency. Different, undoubtedly. And may be even better in some ways. I hope you managed to get out into the garden.

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