Slow Down

On Monday I noticed the amazing pattern on the carpet in Partick library for the first time in my life. How did I come to finally spot this detail in a place I’ve set foot in many times? Probably because I slowed down for (nearly) a whole day or at least as long as was possible before real life took over.

It was bank holiday, so I was off from work, a day with nothing pressing to do for once. We had to get up at normal time, Marnie had to go to school but after that breakfast and a coffee in a local cafe, a trip to the allotment to gather our produce, a leisurely trip to the studio to get my orders, then a swim and sauna at the local pool. We were having a normal pedestrian (non corporate) day. The swim miraculously took away the pain I’ve been feeling in my legs and back from sitting at my desk which has been accumulating for weeks. Who would have thought it, exercise helps a computer captive feel human again. The feeling of no pain seems alien to me, having it all taken away only to feel the ache of my ankle, damaged in a stupid tumble down the stairs weeks ago which doesn’t want to heal, but the rest – gone! I really am a wreck from sitting at my desk all day.

It was also a rare chance for me to pick Marnie up from the school gates, an occasion that seemed to fill her with excitement, she took our hands in pride, her parents were actually there at home time. We went to the library to choose books and for once we had time to hang around. How many times have I been in here, how many times have I not noticed this wonderful carpet with a pattern that looks like spaceships. How stressy am I? I need to get my books and run apparently. How many more wonderful details do I miss in a day because I’m consumed by being stressed,? Even when I’m not, but I probably feel like I should be rushing around to keep all right in the modern world.

Unfortunately the calm didn’t last all day, Kevvy’s mum got taken into hospital and we had to rush down to Largs to get her a bag of overnight stuff, so a bit of real life drama did take over, but still a morning of normal paced life seems more than enough to make a difference for me. We got back home at 9.30ish, I did a few neccessary things and and then straight to sleep, I was tired. For once I dreamt a dream albeit a bizarre dream but it was a happy dream. In my dream I had fixed an old primary school friend┬áKatharine up with Justin Bieber, which is weird I know but I’ll tell you why this is good. Katharine means space to me, the fact that I was dreaming of her and her house after so many years is significant, (I don’t know why Justin Bieber was there, his significance may realise itself one day, who knows! ). Her father ran a turkey farm and I always think of her this time of year when the seasons change. It was her birthday time and the party would always be at the farm. We were allowed to play with the baby turkeys. We were not old enough to work out the impending doom that awaits them – their Christmas Day fate. We would play rounders, run around the farm buildings and just all be outside, happy in the fresh air, that’s if we weren’t in the barn with the poults (baby turkeys). The memories of those days reminded me of the importance of the freedom of being a child, about not making mental timetables and lists that are impossible to check off, about not running around essentially like a headless turkey all the time. I’m very childlike in many ways, my enthusiasm, curiosity and excitement about stupid things, but am far too adult in the way I let myself become engulfed in life’s stresses – major, minor and pointless. Is stress something we feel we have to have in our lives to feel complete, are we not human if we’re not worrying about something. What would the people around me think of they asked me how I was and I said something other than stressed, what if I said happy, content or over the moon with life? That would be a conversation killer, that would be weird. Stress however, now that’s something we can all identify and score points off each other with about who leads the most stressful life. Are there people out there who don’t worry at all or is just a necessary part of fitting in in the modern world? Hopefully I will be one day able to answer these questions if I slow down enough to find out the answers.

Who would have thought that could all come from a carpet in the library, a very wonderful magical carpet in the library.