Yes … April is the cruellest month when lilacs bloom and bodies are buried from living hands.
Yesterday turned out to be stressful and why wouldn’t it when Covid continues on its warpath. People are having panic attacks and we are all growing more vulnerable, whether we are deniers or pessimists (I cannot see how anyone currently can be an optimist) to our helplessness. I am not a trauma therapist but I cannot imagine the extent of the demand for trauma therapy there will soon be for those people who have either been patients in ICU, or worked there. In the meantime I am dealing with the fallout of COVID obsessional compulsive neurosis (OCD) and one such crisis kept me up into the early hours of this morning.
I have already admitted to my growing iPhone OCD. It has just occurred (while I was doing yoga) that my slavish devotion to its every ping, whistle and echo is similar to the children’s irresistibility to the Pied Piper of Hamelin!
And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering,
Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter. (Browning)
I am becoming more superstitious every day. I hate superstition or magical thinking, which I understand as a widely held but irrational belief in supernatural influences, especially as leading to good or bad luck, or a practice based on such a belief. At the moment the superstitious activity that most challenges me is kept under control because it only happens once a day. I hope it will stay that way as it would become quickly exhausting to keep remaking our bed. Once I have finished meditating I am compelled to make the bed before I leave the bedroom. I am not yet finessing about putting the cushions into order but I do have a thing about the under-sheet. The corners have to fit equally onto the four sides of the mattress. I measure the day’s potential by how smooth the under-sheet is. When I woke up this morning it looked like it had been hit by an earthquake. If I had to offer an interpretation for this irrational compulsion I might say that the bed is my ‘universe’ my magic carpet, and that the four corners signify the four corners of the universe, of creation and at its centre lies a mythical garden. That reminds me that when John and me were in Ranthambhore National Park several years ago.
I fell in love with a beautiful patchwork bed quilt, the one Dido prefers. It was expensive and the proud owner explained it had been sewn by several women in the village who supposed, (magical thinking) that any two people who lay beneath it would produce a baby!
I forget … Writing this diary is my most advanced compulsion. Also, I cannot cope with having any unanswered emails in my In Tray, which is perhaps the most severe compulsion of all. Everything has to be answered. At once! A less neurotic interpretation would be that anything which does not get immediately answered is at risk of being overlooked. When you are a therapist you cannot afford to overlook anything professional.
By co-incidence we also have a pitch black cat who adopted us three years ago. He has never left he house subsequently. He can even open lever handled doors by jumping on top of them! This means I have to have another ritual of cleaning his litter tray. At least we have the comfort of knowing he is not a SUPER-SPREADER!
How do you turn away the privilege of being adopted by any animal? He is so pitch with such energetic green eyes (and being a stray kitten his mother never taught him to retract his claws). There is something devilish about his ebony beauty. We call him Zen but perhaps it should have been Lucifer…The story of Zen is for tomorrow…