What a fucking week.
And I mean, sorry for the language, but really it's been something else. I've thought hard about whether to come in and write to you in amongst it all but it feels true to do so, hence here I am.
On Monday, Jaime's Dad went into hospital in Sheffield following what we now understand was a stroke. He's still in but is doing ok - though no-one can visit because he's on a Covid ward following a positive test result.
On Tuesday (following emergency referral on Monday), our cat Renzo was admitted to the animal hospital in Bristol with a nasty virus. He's also still in and the trajectory of his journey has been and continues to be turbulent.
Our kitten, Lula, has also now been tested for the same virus. We're waiting for results but currently she seems well.
So yes, a fucking week.
In it all, I see myself learning. Learning in action. Learning in life.
I go up and down and over and round and up and down and over and round. It is the metaphorical rollercoaster in its entirety.
I spent a good 10 days (until we got the referral to Bristol) waiting for someone to tell me that we would need to say goodbye to Renzo. It's what happened last year with Rossi (IN THE SAME FRICKING WEEK) so why wouldn't it be the same now? Except of course it's never the same - we just tell ourselves it is. As a way of exercising control.
And we busy ourselves - as a way of exercising control. And we numb ourselves - as a way of exercising control. And we hide ourselves - as a way of exercising control. And, and, and, and, and ad infinitum...
Because control keeps us safe, doesn't it?
Or does it?
I'm pulled to pieces and exhausted and at the same time I see so clearly the futility of any attempt at control. It doesn't keep me safe, it makes me brittle. It doesn't give me freedom, it has me build myself a cage.
So I exist in this space, untethered and completely out of control and as a result I see.
I see how 'masculine' I have been in my approach to moving through life in the past - how forcing, contained, held. How hard a time I've given myself for being fluid, emotional, feeling, sensing, sensitive. How I'd previously have really struggled with the idea of taking time off, letting people down, not remaining productive. How it would have felt so shameful to me if I wasn't to remain stoic in the face of all this pain and fear and worry.
I sit here in the dark, and yet I can see so much light.
I feel more open than I have ever been. I feel horribly shit and extraordinarily free. I feel alive, and plugged in and connected to something that's beyond me. I feel like stardust. Tired stardust but stardust all the same.
Does it feel good? Not really, no.
Does it feel true? Yes. And that has its own sense of goodness - of messy wholeness I suppose.
This isn't a practice ground, this life. But living is a practice. And that's what I'm here for. I know that many of you are the same.
In my last letter, I asked two questions: If there was no failure, what could you do? and If there was no wrong, what could you do?.
But here's the question I want to close with today:
If there was a letting go of control, who could you be?