An afternoon spent, or was it an evening, or three, in a wheel clamp’s tender clasp. My dues for modernist mutation paid out in full: ribs, calves, hands, sections of skull, wrenching, arching, hardening. A homecoming of sorts, a holding; mattress won’t grumble, neither will I – if only we knew if we’re hot or cold, horsehair or hardware, flesh or fish or foil.
Every so often, for a short, giddy while (minutes, never hours), energy allows you to gather yourself, and fatigue no more than a background hum. You sit, chat, smile, not thinking after, or before. It’s like standing at the top of a ladder that juts a little way beyond the edges of a steep ravine, shouting “I contain multitudes!” (even remembering who said it first), and keeping that grin wide when it splays in dank earth. Subsequent days would be spent keening, were it not that thought and feeling require a degree of vitality. Later you suck on that memory as if on a sugar-crammed sweet.
Half of my wools are on their way to Lebanon (via Edinburgh), with crochet hooks and knitting books; half are buried in the garden. Kidding! Just hidden from sight… Balls, hanks, skeins, spools, in coordinated hues, cry out for tireless hands to track ideas in loops and stitches, turn stones, whip up the dust in untrod regions of one’s mind. An element of care comes in, tending, mending, touching, making, an address of an other.
I am all thumbs now, spend stretches of the day eyes closed, and grieve the loss of a capacity which spurred me to delve deeper than I can without. As fingers fail imagination pales, connections wither. That a boxful of yarns may reach knitters and crocheteers in a community where lives are lived which we, boarders in a country that is battening down the hatches, cannot, will not fathom, is a wonder to me. It does not relieve my shame at the politics in our name.
A day to smoke in a pipe (German saying). So lightheaded, I cannot find my bearings and half expect to float up to the ceiling, feet first. I’d hang there, paper puppet, flutter in the breeze. Nippy!
How fast the year passed. Hard not to feel diminished. Regular front room commutes became too strenuous, and bed (in and on) my primary residence. I have carers, a support worker (whose tireless advocacy secured me care – communication with cash-strapped institutions is laborious), a befriender; am troubled by my needs and surprised they count. So many go without. A creative project is coming to fruition, under icy fingertips; words spoken months ago travel the air waves. Language unstraps me, occasionally. In the German tongue knees have throats. I wonder if that’s where speech moves when fatigue subsumes agency.