Sunday Post: Sadness returns but the birds are singing

Early morning sun peeping through light clouds over a calm sea.

A difficult week, but the early morning birdwatching has been wonderful. I’ve seen flocks of linnets, starlings, goldfinches and greenfinches feeding on dandelion seeds. I’ve witnessed singing duels between whitethroats, sedge and reed warblers, black caps, wrens and ceti’s warblers. I’ve been surrounded by swooping sand martins. I’ve watched grey wagtails and, the highlight of my week, a handsome wheatear bobbing around on the rocks. It has been glorious.

But as the “excitement” of crisis mode finally wears off, grief has resurfaced. This week I found myself experiencing the attacks of sorrow and anger, mood swings and crying jags that have plagued my life since 2017. It’s strange to say it, but for a few weeks there, I amost felt like my old self again. I knew it was just a ghost and would slip away eventually. You can’t go back to being what you were before, although sometimes a past self might visit for a little while.

Despite the return of difficult emotions, I’ve been looking after myself quite well. We are doing online yoga classes several times a week and have found a dance class that we actually enjoy.

Since I’m in a position to do so, I’ve been trying to support local businesses by buying as much food from them as possible, which has meant lovely vege boxes being delivered and lots of good cooking.

A rectangluar roasting tray containing roast cauliflower, greens and chickpeas.

I’ve made curried new potatoes, a sweet potato and parsnip tagine, butter roasted leeks with bulghar wheat and feta and roast cauliflower with chickpeas, spring greens and tahini (pictured).

Reading

Picture of the following books, Poems 1962 - 2012 by Louise Gluck, Selected Poems by Sharon Olds and Hum by Jamaal May.

I’ve mostly been reading poetry because I find it helpful. I treated myself to collections by Sharon Olds, Louise Gluck and Jamaal May. I’ve also been enjoying the ‘Shelter in Poems’ selections being emailed to me every few days by Poets.org

I haven’t finished any books, but I’m currently reading The Heavens by Sandra Newman, which I feel ambivalent about, and Mr Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo, which is excellent. I’m working my through the complete Hercule Poirot stories at bedtime.

Watching

I watched the Netlix documentary A Secret Love, which is about the 70-year relationship between Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel. This really is a fascinating must-watch. If I have a criticism, it would be that I’d have liked a bit less centering of the heterosexual family’s feelings and rather more about the couple’s lives together. But it’s very good and I cried buckets at the end.

We also enjoyed the episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table with Buddhist nun, Jeong Kwan, which is just beautiful.

Otherwise it’s just been trashy TV and comfort-watching.

Listening

If you like melodic, politcally aware folk music, along the lines of Joan Baez and Thea Gilmore, I can recommend Eliza Gilkyson’s new album 2020

But my album of the week has been Like, Love, Lust and the Open Halls of the Soul by Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter which was a late birthday present from my sister.

1 thought on “Sunday Post: Sadness returns but the birds are singing

  1. Every one of us has gone through, is going through, or will go through those extremes of grief when, for all sorts of differing reasons, the finality of what has been lost, and quite truthfully will never be recovered, hits home. I hope you got lots of hugs and understanding.

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