Sometimes people in my writing groups are very dissatisfied with what they have
written, and over and over again I have to say something like, “What, the end of your first session, and you’re not perfect yet?” Which is a bit hypocritical of me, really, because I too set high expectations of myself, and want to do everything all at once. This week I think it was a case of too much, too soon. I was feeling good at the beginning of the week, and I changed the sheets, put away all the clothes that have been left on the spare bed since my accident, washed the kitchen and utility room floors, and mowed the back lawn (not too bad – a ride-on lawnmower cuts out most of the effort), and the front (much harder), and I had a shower standing up, which I know doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it was for me. All this was on Monday and Tuesday, together with a difficult session at a hospice and a phone call that left me seething, and a session with patients at the Oncology Unit, and lots of Poetry on Loan stuff.
And then I felt awful. What an idiot.
On Tuesday evening I saw The place beyond the pines. This was beautifully acted and shot, but really, two hours and twenty minutes of anguish is a bit much, I think.
Two GP surgery groups on Wednesday, and a one-to-one with another GP patient; these groups are so good that I forget the pain when I’m working with them. A woman in one of the groups said she had been telling everyone how inspiring the sessions are! In the evening I did lots of prep and writeups.
I spent some time with Kim Hill on Thursday morning, planning a new Poetry on Loan course. Kim and I work really well together; we come to these meetings with very vague ideas, and two hours later have a complete training session plan to engage and stretch the participants. At least, I hope it will.
And I saw the doctor. He was very good, and took lots of time to think through exactly what is wrong with my bottom (apart from the obvious flabbiness, that is). He reckons that when I fell, some muscles in my bum were trapped between the pelvic bone and the aluminium of the ladder; I have crushed muscles, which definitely sounds like a Swedish heavy metal rock band. He said that this type of injury takes a very long time to heal, and he’s given me another painkiller, which does seem to be helping a bit. I did some shopping and my accounts, and then lay on the sofa feeling awful. But I wanted to see Fergus McGonigal in his Cheltenham Poetry festival gig, so I dragged myself up and went along; it was fun, though painful, and that night and Friday morning I wrote a new performance poem about my Fall from Grace (Grace being the ladder, obviously).
I typed the poem up on Friday, and parcelled up some of my books to send to people who have ordered them, and had an excellent session at the hospice – lots of patients, who all really enjoyed it and had a go at writing a poem. And I vacuumed upstairs, and made all the arrangements for the book group and poetry class I’ll be running at a prison, and answered lots of emails.
I finished the report for the hospice work on Saturday, and had a long phone call with The Son, who has set up a shop on my website, so that people can order My Book of Poems directly. Coo! It’s been lovely – I mentioned the book on Facebook and I’ve had quite a few orders already – I’m going to have to order another batch, but I think I’ll slip the new poem in before I do.
On Sunday The Bloke and I went to Northampton for his birthday (which was in January). He had a skidpan training session, which he enjoyed hugely – I could hear him laughing from a long way away..
And now, I have a really intensive three weeks of work. It is too much, really, and too soon, but I’ll just have to grit my teeth, try not to think about the pain, and get through it.