I’ve read a Psalm and been to the beach, and we’ve walked the length of it, and even up into the rocky hidden beach because the tide was right out. I’ve talked to God about being alone and I’ve sung a few half remembered hymns really badly and laughed at myself. And I think He did too. I sat on a barnacled rock and read Isaiah 4 in the Passion Translation because I knew that was what I needed to hear (well, David Suchet read it to me on Biblegateway, so I just listened) . Then my phone battery gave out. I’ve fed the dogs and had a shower and baked some stuff for a friend, and visited the chemist (no queue! Bother. That would have used up some time) and delivered the baked stuff with the bonus of a short distance conversation over the doorstep and yards of open space. I’ve done the Times Crossword (not the clever cryptic one) , and the Lexica and the Quintagram and two Codewords. I’ve read Mark 1 and answered a study book question about my response. I’ve re-read DH Lawrence’s ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’ because I remembered it with fondness yesterday. I’ve had a late breakfast of scrambled eggs. I’ve cut my fingernails, which didn’t need cutting.
And now… it’s 11.15am and I have nothing else to do. The bed is made, the loo is clean, the rubbish is bagged up for tomorrow.
All over the world lock-down people are looking at the clock. Time, eh? It’s a bugger.
I lied this morning. When a friend (on my bakery delivery) called that we could have a virtual hug, I replied “Yes, the best sort.” But that was an unthinking lie. A quick automatic make-you-smile, whistle-in-the-dark reaction. Virtual hugs are rubbish. Fact.
I so desperately want to be with someone, to be physically close to someone, to have someone sitting at my table, their hands cupping coffee, our voices soft, not calling across a lawn, a drive, a pavement. I want a hug. I really do, today, want a hug. Me. A person who shies from hugs.
My front door is only locked at night, last thing. Every morning, before I make my coffee, it’s opened. My house is a house of welcome, but it hasn’t welcomed anyone for weeks and weeks. 7 weeks. I still unlock the door every morning, but of course no one can come in. There’s no dogs barking a welcome or an alarm, there’s no scuffle in the porch, no shadow on the glass, no laughter, no catch-up, no prayer.
Bum. This is a time when I need to say rude things quite calmly. It might just make me feel better.
No, it doesn’t.
I can write to them, can’t I? The friends I miss. But it’s not the same. And zoom and FaceTime are not quite the same. They’re more of a performance than a sharing. I want time to talk about how they’re feeling, and what they’re learning, and what God is doing in their lives, and I want time to tell them what He’s doing in mine. I tried to voice my thoughts, in writing, yesterday to a trusted wiser head than mine, but sometimes you just need the space, the time, the presence, to find the words you need. Typing them out… it’s not the same.
I need more than three dots when I’m searching for words. When I find a phrase I need to see how you listen to it. I need to hear your breath. See your patience, or your impatience. See where I’m not making sense and clarify… and I want you to be part of it. Whoever you are. There’s a real danger with writing that it’s always one way. All about me. I’ve had enough about me. I want to know about you. I want to share ‘me’ with you. I want to hear you say stuff – any old stuff will do!
Boris, Boris, when can we stop hiding?
And at 11.37am is it too early to go to bed?