Getting to Grips

I think with Change – lots and lots of change so that you haven’t got time to evolve quick enough, keep up with it, morph, adapt, find your feet – there’s a danger you’ll lose sight of who you are and where you’re going. I think there is a tendency to look at this enormously different vista and try to take it all in at once and the dimensions, the vastly different shape of new views, is overwhelming.

And I lose my voice when I’m not sure who I am anymore?

The children came and went. Their arrivals were glorious. Their going less so. But you can’t live your life through children, anchor yourself through those to whom you are duty bound to grant wings. That’d make you – me – a Sad Cow. The sodden Saturday that saw the last of my young ones leave for London saw me, equally sodden, tearful and unhinged. For life is still a little slippery and connections with people are not such yet that I can weepily descend upon them with my woes and wine. The wine might be ok; the woes wouldn’t be.

So I foreshortened my gaze. I stopped looking at the Big Picture. Instead I telescoped my life like I did in the Outpost – for loneliness is a frame of mind and not borne of geography (‘a city can feel just as isolating’ I tell my husband with a sniff and a hiccup). I hunkered down in my workshop. I dusted off my tools. I blew the fluff from my kilns and I fired them – and myself – up.

The determined concentration that comes with cutting glass, tiny, bright shards, the focus that it takes to conjure a pattern of colour, the deliberation I must make to remember the physics of how it all works and suddenly there it is: the day is less long. And less lonely for though I am still on my own, my labours have generation an occupation.

I learned some good lessons in the Outpost.

The words come rushing back and I cannot pin them to the screen quickly enough for my fingers are Elastoplast-swathed.


Gin Clear Platter

8 Responses to “Getting to Grips”

  1. Rob Says:

    Well done. Occupational therapy in practice.

  2. Nicola Says:

    Love what you’ve done! Keep at it!

  3. Tapping Per Tutti Says:

    I like both your writing and your glasswork!

  4. iota Says:

    Well, it’s very beautiful. The picture, and the writing.

  5. Addy Says:

    Love that dish! I know exactly what you mean and how you are feeling. My one and only child, my daughter, left the nest and my husband died within 6 months of one another, leaving me totally alone, as I do not have siblings nor do my friends live close by. I feel I want her company so much yet must let her fly solo. It’s hard but I take one day at a time and try to keep very busy.

  6. Ann Says:

    Outback seemed such an exotic, but hostile place to me – and now this. You can only live one day at a time, so put up those curtains and unpack your stuff. You would feel much better for doing it. And why don’t you give the children my email address. I only live 70 miles from Cambridge so perhaps I could help out sometimes? Ann xxx

  7. Hazel Says:

    Lovely glass work, hope your fingers are better!

  8. janerowena Says:

    Oh Addy.
    I’m only half an hour or so from Cambridge too – what a good idea. All waifs and strays and travellers welcome here. I think I have said on here before that we moved 12 times in almost 20 years. During that time I felt frequently as you do, but now I feel even worse because my youngest is on the verge of leaving school. I have had had him back for the past five years, before that he was at boarding school and I hated it. But I know he has to leave. It doesn’t stop the occasional tear from falling in advance though. If my husband came home and said that I had to move as well I think I would crack up completely. Never seeing a fruit tree I have planted bear fruit, sometimes in a house for only four months, not being able to remember any of my old phone numbers. Having to make new friends – hard enough while the children are at school, almost impossibly hard unless you are particularly outgoing once they are no longer around. So I have a community of frinds online. It has saved my sanity on several occasions. We have met up, too. Those who can, anyway. Several have been to stay with me. So don’t ever think you have spent too long online. If it’s what works, then do it.

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