On hols

This is the note you find on the kitchen table.

I become baffled from time to time.

Baffle:
v.
1. To frustrate or check.
2. To impede the force or movement of.

n.
1. A usually static device that regulates the flow of a fluid or light.

I don’t get modern life, and that bit’s fine. Because all the stuff that modern life reveres as important – whether you are well, whether you are wealthy, whether you are esteemed, how long you are going to live, whether you are right, whether you are in control, what you achieve, what you want, what you have, what your ambitions are, what your opinions are, what others’ opinions are of you, what you are afraid of – isn’t.

What baffles me (see definitions above, and I do mean all of them), is when the noise of it gets inside my head. That stuff’s contagious. It passes from person to person. It’s on everything man made. It is carried via ‘phone signals. It bounces off satellites into boxes in our houses, into our heads and back out through our mouths and fingers as if that’s the point of 3.5bn years of evolution: that anxiety about the shape of our noses, time, sexual fidelity and what sort of car we drive is some great universal river for which we are the perfectly evolved conduit.

Once it’s in there, like any river, it erodes. The simple human – vital and delicate and complexly-simple, precious beyond all expression – twists into a lingua franca where “love” becomes softly compromised, round-shouldered, apologetic.

I’m not judging it. That would be modern and meaningless. There is a dissonance between what we are and what we do, and we all feel it. We all feel it. At the point where I catch myself agreeing to it by self-editing, or by fearing consequence, urgent action is required.

I will live alongside it, because it owns every inch of this world. But I am not prepared to live it. I am not prepared to have it live in me.

Since I don’t know anyone who will come with me, I shall take a little holiday alone, back to the wordless home country. I will walk the long green hills of myth and stand chest deep, with my hands flat on the surface of ocean-metaphor and let it wash me clean. The holiday will be as short or long as is necessary for my integrity, and then I will be back.

I will bring you a sea-shell. WYWH x

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About chiller

Rachel Coldbreath spent 20 years working internationally as a technical specialist on large data collections for law firms, before becoming disabled. She blogs on a variety of topics from the news and politics to gardening and how very annoying it is, being disabled. Habits include drilling holes about 1mm away from where they ought to be, and embarking with great enthusiasm on tasks for which she is neither physically nor intellectually equipped.
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3 Responses to On hols

  1. doet says:

    Standing at the kitchen counter, fingers lightly on the note, gaze lost outside. Happy and sad.

  2. Liam says:

    Bon voyage. That world will always be there because the things that create it are in all of us. To escape it is a daily task which, imperfect creatures that we are, is easy to fail. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s not a simple thing to do sometimes. The main thing is to keep trying.

    Anyway, enjoy the waters, I hope they bring you what you need.

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