I’ve been hugely stuck-in to writing, throughout these past few weeks; up at 5am and working through till lunch. It’s been transporting me to other places and in my mind I’ve been travelling everywhere, because of the topic I’m writing about. It’s actually, for once, NOT making me want to board a plane. It’s not unsettling and instead it’s grounding and elevating to be working through this stuff.
But to be suddenly jolted back to the present moment, is always quite shocking; especially to look out the window and see those grey skies (that are becoming way too familiar…)
Those skies are also the reason for me to be wrapped up in a blanket keeping warm. I’m in and out of feeling cold, at the moment. And it's draining at the best of times. My body feels quite contracted and tensed too. But I’m totally accepting it and I wouldn't trade places with anybody! This whole 'cottage experience' in the winter time, is quite a learning curve. I'm realizing just how big an effect a season can have on a person and their overall frame of mind. Therefore it’s perfect that the writing is transporting me. Because, without it, the winter would feel to be suffocating me and the darkness would be sitting on my head. I’m doing all I can to avoid that from happening. Most days it’s almost effortless, but on others, I have the strangest feeling of… being a hermit whose storing, waiting patiently, refuelling, possessed by words and shifting motions inside that throw me off my course for a short while, until it’s time to do what I can to get myself back in the flow again.
It’s been 2 years since I’ve had such dark days and I was never living in the countryside with only ‘me, myself and I’ for company. Every other winter in Ireland so far, I didn’t HAVE to step outside the front door to connect with people face to face – and only now am I realizing that it’s definitely what a person needs when their 'work' is to be stuck inside their own head, writing about deep stuff, for 5 and 6 hours a day.
I have to be so careful, not to let myself become too disconnected from where I am. I have to have a balance. I can only maintain that by ‘finding’ local people to greet on the street. And, luckily it happens every time. I must say, the people here are the friendliest you’ll find anywhere in Ireland. Anytime I seek something of a connection, I’m greeted by every single stranger I pass. They’re so warm in fact, that an outsider would be daunted by their friendliness. So I feel quite at home, here in the town, yet I’m not a part of it. Just like I feel quite at home here in the cottage, yet I’m not a part of this tiny ‘community'. I’ve not had a conversation with any of the people living around me so far. It’s not that I don’t want to connect, on the contrary! It simply hasn’t happened. People come and go, doing their daily business, just as I do. If it so happens that I bump into any of the neighbours, it’s in brief passing or from a distance and a conversation hasn’t really come of it. But that's fine too... If I'm meant to meet them, I will. And until then, I'll keep making the effort to connect and feel uplifted by the openness and warm hearts of the ‘village people’!
Isn’t it crazy how a simple ‘hello’ can become a word to save a person from falling way too deep into a disconnected world of doubt? And when it happens, I thank the heavens above that I’m in Ireland, even if the skies are grey and my toes are blue. None of that matters, when I'm able to count the sparks that come from the people on the street who smile and ask ‘How are you?’… I’m actually always tempted to spill how I literally AM feeling in that moment, when they ask this… But that’s not why they ask of course; it’s just their way of giving another person recognition. Little do they realize just how much this person needs that friendly gesture. God, how appreciative a ‘hermit’ can become, for such a recognizing ‘how are you?’ to remind them that they're still a part of this world here on Irish soil!
For now, I'll keep things going as they are, taking it one day at a time. And at the end of next week, I'm off to Holland for Christmas. After that, I'll be going on a 10-day meditation course to Belgium, which won’t see me back in Ireland until the 6th of January. Hopefully I’ll have most of the first draft on paper before then – without putting myself under too much pressure. So the temporary hibernation-mode is needed… for now.