Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Sookiness and Sadler's Wells

Last week was hard work.

There were tears. Yes, more tears.

There were big days and late nights, a bit of packing and a lot of melancholy conversations about saying goodbye to great people and exciting projects in pursuit of an as-yet-unclear Next Life Stage.

It’s been hard balancing the increasing, lovely, enthusiasm of our families for our increasingly imminent return with the rising tide of panic and anxiety and sadness and uncertainty that comes with calling time on five years. I’m aware of the first world nature of my problems – having to give up an amazing job and say goodbye to amazing friends to move to another pretty amazing country (despite the fuckwit running the place) where amazing family and other amazing friends live and where there will hopefully be other amazing job opportunities and if not, well at least there will be amazing beaches and amazing coffee. 

There’s lots that is amazing, see.

And yet…

And yet.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at Sadler's Wells

Of course none of this internalised angst has been helped by the near-disabling tension headache I haven’t been able to get out from under all week (the two may be related?) or the lack of decent sleep.

It’s three weeks before we leave now. Three weeks. I don’t want to go, I don’t want to stay, London is my home, my family is my home, what do I want for myself, for my husband, for my life, for our life? All this emotional ping pong is exhausting, and not hugely productive, not really.

I’m pretty tired.

Even in the persistent company of my headache, I’ve had the most restorative, lovely weekend. I didn’t plan for it to come off the back of a crazy week but that just sweetened the deal, and with Lovely Boy away in Stockholm I hit the payload of a gentle weekend and an empty house to savour it in.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at Sadler's Wells
On Friday night I finally managed to tick “See something at Sadler’s Well” off my London bucket list. My lovely friend Hannah came with me and without really a clue about what we’d booked, found ourselves mesmerised by an extraordinary triple bill from the New York-based Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. I am completely ruing the lack of language to articulate the poetry, humour, emotion, lyricism, athleticism and joy that was watching these three highly considered pieces. Hannah and I kept looking over at each other, eyebrows raised, eyes popping, just shaking our heads in astonishment at some of the imagery (and, also, some of the thighs).

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at Sadler's Wells
After dinner at the busy, bustling Caravan on Exmouth Market it was home, happily, to bed and to sleep.

On Saturday the headache and I went to Kew for a meditation workshop. Again, something I planned a while ago, I think anticipating this moment of increased hysteria mid-pack, mid-disentanglement from the London ties that bind. I’m not sure I got as much from the day as I might have sans headache, but the enforced stillness, the five hours of lying on the floor, lassoing my thoughts back to the task of mindfulness at hand was the kid-gloves version of a slam to a halt that I needed.

Exmouth Market
At the end of the day I wafted home, had a nap and then calmly, slowly, methodically, stripped the walls of all our pictures and paintings, packed them up and added them to the fort we’re now building in our living room.

The boxes go on Friday and there’s still a lot to do between now and then but I’m instituting a one thing at a time, one day at a time policy in the interests of minimising meltdowns.

There’s a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks – I guess the art is in not letting the bittersweet sadness and the uncertainty taint it too much. A little tainting seems inevitable but we’ll deal with that on a taint by taint basis when we get to it.

Now, for this week.

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