I know I said I was vanishing for a bit, and I am, I really am… but in the middle of preparing to move, sorting out what goes to the dump and what goes to charity shops and what to sell, I came across some old notebooks, mostly full of sermon notes but interspersed occasionally with random thoughts and one entry just made me laugh aloud.
It was written at the very beginning of my wanderlust stage… when I first had itchy feet. But I couldn’t walk away from great teaching in the church here, I was hungry for every lesson, every message, every new thought, and I believed (and still believe) that God had brought me here for a purpose and so I stayed.
Anyway, because the note-to-self made me smile, I’m going to type it out here, for you, and hope it makes you smile too.
I could sell the house. No fuss. No one need know. Get in the car with the dogs and hie myself off to a mountain top.
I could join a convent. One that allows dogs. Become a hermit. Travel to Liverpool and sleep on cardboard by the Mersey. Why Liverpool? Why not?
I could up sticks and go.
I could turf up in Africa, eating mangoes and singing Zulu songs.
I could buy an ancient camper van, and grow old in it, smelling richly of mildew and seaweed, with toes grown webbed from so much paddling in the coastal waters of Ireland.
Or the oily water of the muddied Thames.
I’m not fussy.
I could walk away. What do I own?
Leave it all to the taxman and the passers-by, every stick and blade.
I saw a Jamaican once, sitting at the roadside in Montego Bay.
I think of him often, that sweet old drunk,
I could sit with him, in the shade,
listening to his half remembered anecdotes,
imagining his long dead wife
with midnight skin and the voice of an angel
and the temper of a wild boar.
I could lose my past in his.
I could move to Scarborough where I once nearly saw the Queen Mum.
Or Whitby. Or somewhere with a name like Nether Wallop, or Shepherd’s Bottom
so that every day would be absurd.
I could breed maggots for fisherman.
I could upsticks every Monday or every third Tuesday.
I could be
a new person every day.
Live a hundred lifetimes, spin a thousand tales.
I could shake my fist at policemen and startle good people with my sudden bark of laughter.
I could dress the dogs in bonnets and wheel them in a pram.
I could eat from waste bins, scavenging with grimed hands and strangely yellowed nails.
I could stand at the water’s edge shouting prayers in gutter Latin to the screaming gulls.
Just like this morning.
qui es in caelis,
sanctificetur nomen tuum.
I could sleep in the dunes on a wild Northumberland beach, with my two small dogs, waking to the crash of the waves and the echo of the life left behind me.
But I’m held here, firm, for now. By the heart. By the tug of love.
By a God who has a plan.
I’m held here, to listen and to learn. For now. Just for now.
What a bummer.
Hahaha! That makes me smile. The gypsy who cannot gyps. God held me here and now he’s taking me elsewhere.
OK. Now I really have gone for a while. Tara.