My nerves have been a little jangled lately.
Perhaps it’s the slightly manic time of year. Marvel Girl and Miss Malaprop have been veering wildly — and not always simultaneously — from being whingey and tired to such dizzying heights of raucous excitement (provoked, no doubt, by the impending arrival of a certain Mr S Claus) that I have already instituted a household-wide ban on the consumption of candy canes. The Bloke is trying to get it all done before the office shuts down over the holidays, all while contending with the whirl of Christmas parties that is now in full (and sometimes drunken) swing. I’ve been making and revising endless lists and menus and timetables in preparation for hosting The Big Day for the second year running thanks to my brother’s late-running house renovations, and trying to recall exactly where I have stashed all those presents…
Or maybe it’s the weather. The drooping humidity. The cracking thunderstorms that have rolled through from the west every day or night for the past week, jarring me out of sweaty slumber into an electrified state of high alert: will the kids sleep through, despite the sky being filled with such incandescent light and percussive rage? I suspect I greeted the southerly change that finally blew in so sweetly yesterday evening with more reverence than I’ve shown to just about anything else since the season of Advent began.
And then I realised that in the midst of all the atmospheric disarray and my attempts to wrangle organisation from impending chaos, to keep two children provided with proper nourishment and uninterrupted sleep, and to assist a husband who — with his business partner fighting cancer since February — has experienced one of the most challenging years of his career, that I had completely overlooked something that, for me, is really important: I had forgotten to write.
So here I am again. Showing up on the page.
Making sure that today, I have gone back to my First Principles: words, music, food. To pay homage to my own holy trinity of creative pursuits and their sustaining presence in my life.
I made chocolate walnut fudge while listening to the Foo Fighters’ fifth album, In Your Honour. It seemed like an appropriate soundtrack to my seeking refuge in what Nigella Lawson calls “the solace of stirring”. After all, making fudge is a calming, mellowing, meditative process — even if I did, perhaps perversely, choose to play the heavier of the album’s two CDs while the sugar slowly caramelised in the saucepan. (Watching an episode of Sonic Highways recently I was startled to realise that after all these years The Bloke is still coming to terms with the fact that he married a girl whose musical tastes could be best described as disparate, and who genuinely likes it loud.)
This is the sound
The here and the now
You got to talk the talk, the talk, the talk
To get it all out…
The jangling has gone, and I’m grateful. Not just because I finally went back to how I roll.
I remembered to let it rock too.