This is Gippy. As in Gyp(s)y. Don’t say the s. Like the Goose, (E)gyp(tian) Goose. And the Lake. Jipe. Spelt differently. Pronounced the same. She is the newcomer. She likes to rest her glossy little black head on warm things: Pili’s older, wiser, yellow one.
Sometimes – in this vast sprawling lonely place – my life distills to the very tiny. There are few sounds, and no busy-ness, to drown the silence out. A luxury I hear you say. No. Not really. Overwhelming isolation is a difficult commodity to grapple with. It overflows my space and spills from my hands; I frequently cannot manage it.
The Outpost taught me a little of how to fill it though. A little. This is a larger void to stopgap.
I learned that I needed to concentrate on the smallest elements of my day. Join up the dots. Make a picture. Something I could present at sundown. This is what I did with my Day.
So I really taste that first cup of tea. Its fresh picked-piquancy and sweetness (I always take a spoon of sugar in my first mug).
I stop and stand and gaze, head tilted back, upon a flock of Turraco that are feasting in a tree we walk beneath on an early morning soujourn. I hear them often from the house, their gutteral, throaty call. But I have never seen one here. Until now. The tree was thronged with birds, their scarlet feathers as blood flecks against the green. They cackled crossly, leave us in peace, to eat. So we did. The dogs and I.
I prepare supper with imagination, a glass of wine to hand. Provisions are not easy here. Butter is more than an hour away. If you’re lucky. So I have learned to stretch the culinary deliverance of an aubergine. Get some small jolt of achievement from reinventing last night’s steak as something with chilli and yogurt.
I eke out the day’s every flavour to make it go a little further. I have to.
This habit, this new habit, has a name I read. It is called Mindfulness: a heightened awareness, a deliberate concentration, on the details of the world around us. It’s touted as a wellbeing tool. Will it stop me going Mad, I wonder. (For in my solitary space I know I think too much) Google assures me it will.
So I ponder this piece of writing, select each word more carefully now, thread them as beads on a rope.
Gippy, aslseep at my feet, shuffles to find a new spot and settles her soft head upon my slippered foot. I notice her small weight. Her warmth.
I promise myself to write a post every day for the next 21, when I will have written 500 on this blog.
I promise myself to notice the little things more. To mind less.
I promise myself to be Mindful.