Pure pleasure trip one morning, to café down the road. Crept out through crack in clock face. Wheelchair pushed by bubbly befriender; trundling from pothole to pothole. Forgot to touch peeling bark of silver birch on former totter fringe, let garden views flit by. Beeline while upright… Made outside corner mine, head propped on purple cushion. Fleeting acquaintance with strawberry tart, crumbs licked off finger-tip, custard trickle. In no time at all talk travelled far and further, salut, dommage, güle güle. Homeward bound stopped to chat with neighbour only ever waved at when bundled into car on way to hospital. A few minutes of banter, laughter. Bed after.
Warning: words at large. My say-so over the radio, a voice-outing, rarer even than my forages into the world. I jumped at the chance (without moving from the sofa), but when it came to listening subjectivity seemed precarious as a gum bubble. As much as I had wished for this opportunity, I felt suddenly unsure. My writing (midpoint between forensic and fanciful, and much edited) is tightly controlled. Speech is more prosaic, more intimate, exposed. Critical impulses gleaned, mixed in with nuance and loquacity, measures of reserve, resolve, timidity, conceit, exuberance, desire. Complexity – a relief! Things worth saying… That quiet, isolated place from which I spill, occasionally (this one glorious time in sound and joining other voices, vibrant, spirited, seldom heard), moved within earshot of a wider audience. It was as if five individuals stepped out from the dark at the back of a Greek chorus, to enunciate their own stories. Momentous and momentary.
Chronic Illness and Creativity, a series of interviews conducted by Melissa Viney, broadcast on Radio 4, Woman’s Hour. Links below: