Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The voices in my head

We spent the weekend with friends who have a place in the goldfields. On Saturday afternoon, my husband and two children were asleep, and our other child was chatting with our friends and doing jigsaw puzzles. I realized with a start that there was nothing I had to do, so I picked up the Saturday newspaper and wandered out into the garden.

As I slowly nutted out the cryptic crossword, that little undertone, my constant friend, reminded me that I had brought my laptop and I really should write something – or if not, there was that book about American politics in my bag that I haven't managed to finish – and of course, I must go for a walk and get some exercise and explore this little hamlet – and my friends were probably going nuts with my daughter's incessant chatter so I should rescue them from her and take her out – and by the way, now that I'm 35 I'm not getting any younger so when am I actually going to achieve anything?

But the sun was warm on my face and I was enjoying the crossword, so I told my little undertone to shut up, reminding it that without rest I become the psycho mother from hell – rather like that little undertone itself. The undertone gave a surly mutter, sprayed me with a final sense of guilt, and slunk away.

So I sat there dozing, only stirring from time to time to put an answer in the grid – my unconscious is far better at cryptic crosswords than my waking mind – and I suddenly heard myself think, 'You trust me' and then, 'I trust me, and I trust You, and that is enough'.

And the world, already green and sunny, suddenly felt deliciously expansive and I saw the oceans of time ahead of me when I might wonder and write and dream, and it was such a joyful feeling, such a relief bubbling up from the centre, that I felt my face crack open in a large loony smile

and grinning like the Cheshire cat, I finished the cryptic. Oh happy day.


  1. I want to hug you after every post. Let me be the undertone: write a book! Write a book!

  2. Dear Brenda - this blog is the book, or at least the nearest I'll get for some years yet... but thanks for the undertone! al.

  3. A belated comment, but I was feeling the joy of that moment... totally grounded, the world opens up... so happy for you...

  4. Shelley Knoll-MillerSaturday, June 12, 2010

    lovely lovely piece. I wish I could recognise my undertone so clearly.
    just beautiful.


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