This blog has spent the winter in a lazy silence. No-one complained. In breaking my silence I’m mindful of the judgement of Tim Minchin, who spoke (on ‘Australian Story’) of the morbid addictiveness of seeking affirmation. This blog was created precisely with that intention: I would write and you would like.
I’ve been thinking about this unattractive reality. I can’t see any way of sharing my writing without courting some sort of warm response. I could simply write and show no-one. Emily Dickenson wrote many, many poems and showed very few. Emily was shy; I am the opposite. So here we are, about to estivate.
Allow me to plead a single, small justification for posting my writing in public. Some years ago a nurse I used work with in an extremely remote community, contacted me after I had posted some piece of writing. She told me she looked forward to my posts. She said, Óut here you can feel forgotten by the world you knew. There are no papers here. You look forward to contact. After I’ve read whatever you post, you come back here and we talk all day in my head. I missed your posts when they stopped coming.
One of the reasons I write is a simple delight in words. When I suffered a (very) minor stroke a year or so ago, it struck my words. A little blood vessel in my brain aged, shriveled and died. As a result a bit of braindied. That bit (called the pons) is responsible for speech. The stroke was slight, just a caress really. For a short while I slurred sibilants at the end of words. ‘S’ words came out in an unshapely rattle.
If my fate had been to destroy the pons entirely I might have lost all speech, a stroke of good luck for some, perhaps, but unbearably sad for me. So here I am, bursting into words as my world bursts into spring. I’ll try to bloom and I hope you’ll like. Just don’t tell me.