It's difficult cancelling commitments like this, especially as a writer, because it lets people down and these opportunities come up so rarely for me. So, I apologise to anyone who has bought a ticket specifically to see me. I urge you to do along and hear Chris read, and hopefully they will be able to find an exciting replacement in time. I hope so.
I'm also taking more time off work. Another tough decision, because again I feel as though I'm letting people down. But I have to be realistic.
Probably, there will be a number of things in coming week/s that I might have to pass on.
There is an argument for 'pushing through' and I've spent a lot of time in the past days going over and over this (probably not a good idea to be going over and over things!). Sometimes, though pushing through feels too difficult, and retreating feels like the more sensible course.
So, let me talk positive on this blog for the rest of my post because I'm becoming a total misery guts, and you know, it's important to focus on the positives:
1. I watched Memoirs of a Geisha yesterday with my sister. I've never seen it before and I've no idea why. It's a beautiful film, gorgeous. I loved the story, but the costumes were just amazing, and all the mise en scene, the attention to details, it is visually brilliant.
2. I'm still reading Sarah Water's Night Watch, slow slow reading attention span. But it is brilliantly written... I love her writing.
3. I've been offered an allotment near where I love. Well, it's half an allotment. I've been on the waiting list for 2 or 3 years, and now here it is. I went to see it, and it's a very friendly small site, and I have half an allotment, that needs a lot of work. Any offers for help with digging? It will be wonderful to get out there and do some digging and planting and grow my own stuff.
4. Kindness of friends and strangers. I don't need to say anymore than this. Even small kindnesses are most appreciated.
I want to end on a poem that someone emailed me this week...
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Bark