Monday, June 08, 2020

The new plan

Last week I started having early morning nightmares again. And I spent this last weekend on the verge of tears. 

Why? The continuing police brutality in the USA, even while the world is watching; the realisation that the UK government doesn't care about our welfare and even if they did, they are not competent to look after us; the Brexit disaster; the frightening swing in world politics to right-wing populism; the continuing illness from Covid of my friend - after seven weeks; the death of a dear friend (already mentioned to you); the feeling of helplessness and inability to make a difference.

This morning I woke up after 8 hours sleep and no nightmares and am ready to tackle a new week, but I have a plan.

1. Only read the news in the morning. Never at night. And that includes Twitter. 

This is Mary Oliver's poem: 

The Morning Paper

Read one newspaper daily (the morning edition

     is the best

for by evening you know that you at least 

     have lived through another day)

and let the disasters, the unbelievable

     yet approved decisions,

soak in.

I don't need to name the countries,

     ours among them.

What keeps us from falling down, our faces

     to the ground: ashamed, ashamed?

2.  Buy a copy of Why I am no longer talking to white people about race, and read it again. If you do not believe racism is endemic in the UK, I recommend you read this book. There's currently so much to read online about racism in the USA: this morning I found this piece interesting.

3.  Consider what I can do to support #BlackLivesMatter.

4.  Stop rushing to get as much as possible shoehorned into my days so that when I look back, these months of distance from ordinary life will not feel like a waste of time. I must calm down.  I will make a list in the morning of just three things I want to do before tea time, when I usually collapse.

6.  Find a new novel to read. I am enjoying Anna Karenina, but it is slow going. I go back to it in the evening because I think - Oh, I should read some more Anna Karenina (note the should) rather than looking forward to reading it in the same way I have looked forward to watching another episode of Call My Agent on Netflix.  I need a novel that enthrals me.  I don't want a whodunnit or a thriller or anything violent or harrowing. But I don't want slush, either. Do you have any suggestions, friends?

7.  Get my art submissions sent off to the King Lear competition for the over 70s.

Here, for your amusement, are two photos Liz took of me on a recent walk. The orange glove is so I can open gates without becoming infected. The other photo speaks for itself.

And here is my latest attempt at reading an extract from DAYS ARE WHERE WE LIVE. I've not read you this one before. Listen here.

I hope you all have a better week than the last one.


Sally said...

Hi Sue, You ask for reading suggestions, these are a few books I've enjoyed recently;

Toast - Nigel Slater,

The Art of Racing in the Rain - Gareth Stein,

All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

Sadly nearing the end of your book!

Lovely photos, hope the sun returns soon. Sally🤓📚☀️

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Sally. I will check them out. I appreciate your taking the trouble! X

Sue McCormack said...

Hi Sue
You were asking for book recommendations. I wonder if you know of the Australian author Susan Duncan? She has written 3 memoirs-Salvation Creek, The House at Salvation Creek and The House on the Hill. I have only read the first one so far but have read it several times! Until today, while Googling her in order to tell you about her, I didn’t know there were subsequent ones, so now I have something to look forward to! Salvation Creek captivated me and I think you might enjoy it too. It gives me the same satisfying feeling that I get when I read your work-from someone vibrant, curious and unflinchingly honest about themselves and their lives. I’ve just ordered your latest book-can’t wait to have it on my bedside table!
Love your blogs, Sue-so comforting and much needed right now.

Sue Hepworth said...

Oh Sue, thank you for this fabulously cheering comment.

I am sitting in bed trying to write a blog post right now. I wonder where you live and what you are doing.

Thank you for the recommendation. I will certainly follow it up, 😊👍

Unknown said...

I’m from your neck of the woods, Sue but through a strange twist of fate have been living in the South Lakes for the last 10 years. My daughter and her family live near Ashbourne and she wants me to come back-so who knows? I’m very tempted. By coincidence I’m driving down today to see them-first time I’ve left home since early March. I haven’t had anything to drink since yesterday as I don’t want to have to stop to use the loos at a services!! It’ll be a first!!!

Unknown said...

I’m from your neck of the woods Sue-but by a strange turn of events, have been living up in the Lake District-near Windermere and Coniston-for the last 10 years. My daughter lives near Ashbourne and keeps trying to get me to move back to be near her. I do miss them all, especially the 2 grandchildren there-7 year old twins-boy and girl-so it’s very tempting. By coincidence, I’m visiting them later today. It’s the first time I’ve been away from my home since early March. I’ve been ultra cautious so far, so am feeling a little nervous. I’m in a bubble with them. I haven’t had anything to drink since last night as I don’t want to stop at any services! That’ll be a first. 🙂

Sue Hepworth said...

Good luck with the journey. Setting off after no morning drinks is pretty amazing. I hope it works.