It’s a new year, and the cursor blinks at me accusingly. It knows I have not written here for some time, and perhaps it wonders why, given that thoughts and feelings are gathering restlessly in my brain and need to get out.
After a marathon blitz of unsociable and family-unfriendly grant writing over the holidays, I finally have a few hours of solitude I can spend, like a pocketful of the rarest of golden coins, on other things. But as usual, I find instead that I would rather sleep, or read, or allow my mind to slither away down endless timelines on a screen. And then there are all the chores that I should be doing, or exercise I should be undertaking. Instead, I stand paralyzed with my handful of gold, unable to commit to anything as the clock ticks ever onward and the pale afternoon light fades too soon to that early winter dusk.
Or maybe it’s because nothing at the forefront of my mind seems interesting enough to capture. The swarm of starlings on the rooftops as I walked my son to school in chilly darkness this morning. The shocking green of the seedlings reaching towards the white-hot light in our new indoor hydroponics system, glowing like an alien spacecraft in the corner of the dining room. The bowlful of winter crops harvested by torchlight last night for dinner: rainbow chard, blue kale, baby Brussels sprouts, a few fat crimson beetroots. The hundreds of pale-green spears pushing up from the heavy mud in our garden, hinting at the benevolence of a springtime that is still painfully distant. Everything seems loaded with a significance that I cannot put a name to, a weight on my soul that leaves no mark.