I'm reading this book at the moment, one of the very many piled up on the bedside table and, incidentally, picked up for a mere 20p from the local charity shop. It's called 'write that novel' or something similar. I would go and check its title but to get to it involves two flights of stairs and I've only just sat back down. One of the pieces of advice that resonated with me is that to become a writer you must sit down every single day for at least ten minutes and write. It then went on to suggest subjects to write about, yourself being the number one subject, and therein lies the problem. Whereas in a previous life I led a somewhat erratic existence nowadays I would describe myself as normal, placid, settled, sane and sensible. The picture paints a mundane '60 something' (just turned) struggling with extra unwanted inches and counting her alcohol intake whilst maintaining a cheery disposition and smiling benignly at strangers.
I did as the book suggested and sat down at my computer. I sit at a handsome walnut desk with a green battered leather top. Outside the window I can see the church, the clock resolutely stuck on exactly midnight. two of the prettiest cherry blossom trees grace the churchyard, one is of the deepest raspberry pink and the other so delicate it could be a bowl of rich cream. People pass by all the time and do not notice me sitting here. Last week when we had that marvellous heatwave which rendered me a completely different person they went by chattering happily in vibrant coloured clothing looking startled by the unexpected blast of revitalising heat. Today they are huddled over as they dodge the quick bursts of rain and brace themselves against a mean wind.
Most days, there is an enormous rack of clothing hanging nearby. Vintage Laura Ashley dresses, Gieves and Hawkes shirts, Mint Velvet, Heidi Klein, Berger et Mikkelsen, Joules, Quba... All to be wheeled out and set up on my Saturday stall, I pray for sunshine for if it rains its a gloomy outcome. And me? I rather like to think I don't succumb to fashion. I always buy second-hand if I can, that's 'pre-loved' in sales speak. This morning I have on faded Wrangler jeans, a cream Charles Tyrwhitt shirt, blue suede Moshulu slip ons and a White Stuff cashmere pullover. I am absolutely allergic to ironing and strive and miserably fail at minimalism being a natural hoarder. In one year I can easily amass over 100 new books even if I don't get round to reading them. They are there for future reference.
But I still can't write, there is a blockage, and what a shudderingly disgusting word that is but it is the only one that springs to mind and best describes my current state.
I am cross, more than that, I am fuming, seething, bursting with pent up fury and there is nowhere for it to go. It is an old wound that despite the passing of many years is still capable of rearing its ugly head. It is a monster of which I played no part in conceiving and is the cruellest form of abuse that you can inflict on another human being. It is the total rejection of a child by a parent.
I sat down and wrote about it, I penned the surges of pain and the ongoing misery and anxiety it causes. It can lie dormant for a while, twenty five years to be precise, and then without warning because of the changing circumstances of individual lives it surfaces once again and I am left floundering for words, unable to explain.
And what really sucks is that the perpetrator is free from distress, unburdened by guilt and is so guileless and weak that responsibility and decency are not words that they are familiar with. They have long drifted to pastures new.
And I have to tackle the monster on my own and explain why life is not always fair.