I wrote my New Year resolutions before my reconciliation with 2008 - a bit arse-about-face perhaps. Eventually I sat down to make my peace with the year that probably was the worst year of my life… This is what I wrote - as it came out into my Intimate Journal.
Thursday 1 January 2009 - armchair in D&K’s house @ 1036
Looking back on 2008, it was a year full of dread.
I dreaded my way through it, breathing each day, until September came and all was transformed. The year suggests a blank to me now - from the vantage point of a secure footing. I see no shape but the shape of a huge dark mountain dominating the sky, shutting out all of the light, except a tinge round the outline. One big mother-fucker of a mountain of grief. Of course, if I turn up the exposure, I begin to see some detail in the dark, and I also see the picture grow more grainy and fragmented: it is no longer black; it becomes a grey and there is plenty of suppressed colour in there.
I went out into the world in 2008: Steve & AnnMarie’s wedding in Inverness looks like the first colour. That wonderful restaurant, the river in full tide, the kilt, the heavy kilt and the sporran and the bare balls of it all.
I look again into the picture and I see Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria. I see the shop where I bought a bright white shirt in which to appear light and breezy. I see the sea, flat, cloudy and hot. I feel the heat, and hit one last table tennis ball in a competition organised around the pool which fell into the sea.
I see Lahinch in floods of rain and wet weather. I see yet another wet day: 28/31. The boys amusing themselves and irritating me (Yes, I did feel anger in 2008) with their running on the grass of the rented house.
I see waves and fierce foam. I feel a crab in my palm, and Grace bringing it back to the Wiffe who sits reading.
I see a camera redundant, and pens grow cold on the desk that is my unmade office.
I see the Nionra come and go, and I see myself struggle to amuse Grace.
I see the pain on the Wiffe’s face come into fragmented focus and I see the limp of the man who went lifelessly to the psychiatrist to take whatever medicine they would dole him out.
I see a counsellor who hung on in there and stood by me
I see G -enormous G with all his emails, no texts replied to. Texting man - he piled them on and I got them and I wished him gone until I realised he was my barnacle, my Nora - he’d been there for me because I was one of his horizons. I see the growth and change in him. I found out he’d been a sailor, and that brought much more into relief.
We were sailors on the sea, coracling together.
The joy of mental illness, the wedding in England, the invitation from Ben to write… going round Cork with Jacob, in & out of employment agencies, looking for a job where I wouldn’t be noticed… the good night where I sparkled in that old hotel… the joy of greeting Attie & Gerry to Cork.
Kinsale you place of my betterment, and then it was all downhill into paradise
and recovery… (1057)
So I found my peace… and look forward to 2009 with optimism, ambition and purpose.