Friday, 19 September 2014

Chapter 36: Back at Circus Space? Good Grief!

After the school run this morning, kids deposited at various locations, I stumbled out of the car dropping the remnants of my coffee everywhere, a baby's bottle, a satin negligee and half a packet of smoked salmon.  I wasn't expecting a welcoming committee of dustbin men on the doorstep.   Heaven knows what they made of the sight.  What can you do but laugh?  One of them picked up the cup, binned it, nudged me  and said "Maybe tired, but doing fine." Or was that damn fine?! Welcome to my world. 

It's been one of those weeks where you just keep your head above water and do your best to keep your sense of humour.  It started on a high, a mother and daughter trip to Chessington (yes, that's how I get my kicks) with dear friends, where the object of the exercise seemed to get as wet as possible. And we got soaked. The highlight, rollercoasters aside, was an encounter feeding the lorakeets who descended immediately on me, maybe identifying a fellow aerialist - birds of a feather?! Not often I get a load of birds fighting over me anyway.   It was uncanny. Then we got home to the news that my father-in-law had died, and suddenly I was reminded that birds have ever been regarded as messengers of the underworld, and it seemed somehow fitting.

"Balada de la Estrella" by Gabriela Mistral
(see translation below)

Alzheimer's is a bugger, there are no two ways about it.  In many ways you make your goodbyes as soon as the sentence is passed, and I am not grieving from the release from that indignity.  But I am mourning the gentle widower who, learning that his son had asked for my hand, took me aside one Easter, and gave me the bracelet he had once given to his wife for their anniversary. We shared a love Spanish and had many a conversation on Latin American poetry, music and Buenos Aires - a city I have yet to visit, but was one of his favourite haunts.

We all find our ways to cope too.  Mine has not been writing, funnily enough, but engaging in activities where my mind can't wander, and has to stay in the moment.  That is where circus comes into its own, and I am so glad term-time started up again at Circus Space this week, with so many friendly faces. I signed up for the beginners course again before finding out I'd been passed for the next stage, so am now doing two classes back-to-back in the evening. I love the familiarity of repeating the course where you rotate round rope, static and flying trapeze, and as luck would have it, I'm starting on my favourite rotation, flying. There is something about a swinging trapeze that lifts the spirit high.   Somehow even the fear stepping off the platform has simply evaporated, and my confidence has soared as a result.  But, keeping it real and stepping out of the comfort zone, I am also doing the next level class on static as well. Nobody warned me there would be rope (my nemesis) to climb too!  That's a good thing though.  There is pain involved, but I'm finding a certain release in moving on. 

by Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral
translation found on google books (click here)

Star, I'm sad.
Tell me if you ever 
saw so sad a soul.
"I know one sadder."

Star, I'm all alone. 
Tell my soul if there are
any others like her.
"Yes" sings the star.

Look how I'm crying.
What woman ever wore
such a cloak of tears?
"One weeps more."

Tell me if you know her,
the lonely one, the griever,
tell me, is she near?
"It's I, the dream-weaver
I whose light
has turned to tears."

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