Reasons for not blogging, or whose idea was it to blurt out my life in the first place?
Yes, here’s yet another post from Dancing Beastie. I know, I know, you must have had trouble keeping up with them all recently, I just can’t stop blurting forth, can I?
Actually, I have written plenty of posts this year. The problem is finishing them. Most of my dialogue in recent months has been in my head, as I try to work out why my inspiration has deserted me, and what I need to straighten out in my mind before it can return. Tentatively, I think I can at last say that I am beginning to make a tiny bit of headway; and I feel I owe an attempt at an explanation to old blogging friends who have wondered at my silence, as well as to new ‘followers’ who have found nothing to follow.
Um. Well, when I began this blog, there seemed to be so much to share. Life here at the castle still felt fairly novel, so that I could still empathise with, and enjoy responding to, the curiosity of friends who saw my life as a tartan-clad fairy tale. On top of that, my children were both still very young: young enough to come out with gorgeously quirky takes on life which seemed (to their besotted mother) worth recording for posterity. And motherhood was still a new enough experience for me to be still adjusting to it, pondering it, and occasionally kicking against it.
My little boys are both big enough to be at boarding school now, and even the younger one rolls his eyes when we remind the children of the baby words they used to have for things. (‘Clip-clops’ for high heeled shoes was a good one; ‘big flower’ was an early attempt to describe a tree.) Motherhood is my state: no longer a novel experience, it is just blessed, pedestrian, everyday life. And so – at least until the teenage years hit with a vengeance – there seems much less to write about it all than there once was.
As for the tartan-clad fairy tale… well, it still holds true. (Followers of the wildly popular ‘Outlander’ books and TV series would no doubt think so, at any rate, if I say that my very own flame-haired, kilted Highland laird swept me off to be his bride in his medieval castle! Ooh, I can imagine my husband’s blushes from here, not to mention his sisters’ snorts of derision, heh heh.)
One can even get used to living in a fairy tale, however, and we have made our home here at Castle Beastie for over a decade now. Sometimes the wonder of the place is rather obscured by mundanities: by building maintenance and roof repairs, by red tape and hostile government bureaucracy, by trying and failing to accommodate the conflicting wishes of walkers, fishermen, mountain bikers, deer stalkers, picnickers, brides, sporting guns, birdwatchers and all the other parties who use our land – not to mention us, the family who lives here. Of course it can be wearisome sometimes, and I don’t like to dwell on wearisome topics on this blog.
And the other side of living here for all this time is that, naturally, I am no longer seeing it as a newcomer. Rather than wanting to stop and explain things about life here, I am usually just getting on with living it. You might say that, as the glitter has worn off, it has become more precious to me: the castle with its land is a wondrous place, but it is also the home where my family is growing up, and the scene of the same private joys, griefs and trials as any other family might live through. This perhaps makes me increasingly wary of what I share in public, especially as the blogosphere seems so intimidatingly vast and anonymous now in a way that it didn’t when I first began to publish.
For all these reasons, then, I have become rather uncertain as to what and how much to write. The natural world is a continuing source of inspiration and delight to me: I’m not sure what else I want to add into the mix, however. After writing busily and happily all through the years of my recovery from brain injury, it seems rather ironic that I should falter now, but there you are.
Which leads me back to that dialogue, or rather monologue, in my head. (For those of you still awake, I’ll keep this bit brief.) When not taken up with the vital topic of Why I Can’t Finish A Blog Post, it has mostly been pondering the broader background issues. There is no doubt that M.E./ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has knocked me for six this year: I thought I’d be better by now, and I’m not, and waking up every day with weak aching joints and the same exhaustion as the day before is what it sounds like: a tiresome pain in the backside. Quite honestly, there hasn’t been any energy left over for writing. I’m hopeful that there is progress I can make here, however. While the physical origins of the disease M.E. have been clinically proven (pace the naysayers), there is no doubt that one’s health is also affected by psychological factors. With the help of two wonderful ‘wise women’ – one, the cranio-sacral therapist who was such a Godsend after my head injury, the other a medical herbalist and Jungian psychotherapist – I am beginning to understand a little more about myself than I used to. This will not be of interest to anyone else, which is why I haven’t written about it. But this ‘inner work’ is keeping me busy and I believe is important, as it will be helpful to me and thus my family in the next stage of our life’s journey, whatever that may bring.
Finally, this is not a finale! Writing a blog has brought me such inspiration and pleasure, mainly through the many people who have contributed so much to the process by their comments, encouragement and friendship. (You know who you are, and blessings upon you.) I wouldn’t want to give that up for anything. Dancing Beastie will keep going, if only in fits and starts, for the foreseeable future. I hope that, by explaining to you why the ‘fits’ have outweighed the ‘starts’ this year, I might have cleared the path to get it running again. Thank you so much for your patience.