Lockdown Diary: Day Twenty-Two.

I missed yesterday’s diary, because a Thing happened. The Thing needs a capital letter because it was big, and it send me spiralling down the rabbit hole. The Thing induced rage, and helplessness, and a sort of defensive crouch of paralysis. I was stuck in place, and I couldn’t even write something for you. 

I’m trying very hard to process each emotion as it happens. This coronavirus is producing a maelstrom of emotions in everyone, I suspect. They come at us not in single spies, but in battalions. I say to people, ‘I have good days and bad days,’ but I’m starting to think it’s good hours and bad hours. Even the wisest and most positive and most pragmatic people I know are getting smashed, from time to time, with the tidal wave of overwhelm. You are just walking down the shoreline, minding your own business, thinking you are smelling the salt in the air and feeling the wind on your face and then – bam – you are smashed to the ground.

It’s the picking yourself up that counts, I think. I think that all of us are having to pick ourselves up every morning and every afternoon and in every midnight hour. 

This morning, I picked myself up. I wrote the emotion. I wrote it for this diary. I ranted and raved and let all my wild horses run free.

And then I stopped and breathed and went about my day. I did all my different jobs. I had an utterly glorious session with a writer I’m working with. For a whole hour I forgot the world, and concentrated on imagination and creativity and prose. Although it was work, it felt like a gift. I wrote a long post for HorseBack UK, the charity I work with. That was all joy too. I did everything I had to do, and I felt sanity return. 

And then I went back and looked at my rant. It was rather splendid in its way. Maybe it wasn’t so much wild horses; it was as if I’d let the hounds out. I’d cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war. I had taken the Thing and pummelled it to the ground.

I thought: that livid writing has fulfilled its purpose. I don’t need to bash you with it. I’d like you to have the positive, the heartfelt, the sometimes hopeful, not my dark furies. I imagine you have enough furies of your own to be going on with.

So I wrote this instead. I wrote with my quiet mind, not my roiling mind. I think that is better.

Just as I type these words, the sun comes out. It’s been hovering, shyly, behind a thin veil of cloud all day. It’s been trying to make an entrance and then changing its mind. Dear old Scotland really looked quite flat and dour this morning. But now the sun has walked to centre stage. She is dancing and dazzling in through the window. It feels like a sign. I can’t give you pure sunshine every day, because that would be blinkered and phony and wrong. The clouds are real, and must be seen. But you don’t need the full force of my storms. 

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