Saturday, 25 November 2017

Human Hedgehog Chimera

DIDDLY DIDDLY BONK....  a text pops up on my phone, "hello, are you there?"  snuggle deeper into the duvet and hit delete.

BOING.....  an email drops into the inbox,  "haven't heard from you for a while is everything ok?"   light another candle and immerse self in  Margaret Atwood's dystopian universe.

PING....  a Facebook notification proclaims it's arrival,  turn to Netflix and hug The Indomitable Fred closer.

Is she poorly?   anti-social?  engrossed?  otherwise committed?

No, none of the above can in all conscience be claimed to explain the absence of the jeni from these pages recently.  so what's the problem?  well you see, i think i'm a chimera and the cells i share with the hedgehog dominate once the leaves turn russet and fall.  frost covering the tops of cars and roofs, dark mornings, a frozen bird bath, the scent of wood-smoke all conspire to trigger a deep desire to stockpile carbohydrate, lay down an extra layer of fat, line the universe in duck down and hibernate.  thought processes become sluggish, muscles tighten, joints lock, and the ability to focus on  something even as enjoyable as writing for you becomes an effort too far.
It would be nice if i could say this is a side affect of ageing or disability, that in my youth i embraced the changing of the season with vim and vitality, that i relished watching fireworks with feet of frozen plasma and revelled in the donning of padded jacket and leg warmer, but it would be blatant dishonesty.   

The irony is that i actually love autumn in many ways.   the golden light from a low sun, drifts of crunchy leaves, the clean, crisp fragrance of loam bring back memories of dawn walks by the banks of the Cam, one child swaddled in woolly hat and scarf tucked up warm in the pushchair with only a little red nose exposed to the misty air, the other engaging swans in a breakfast of surreptitiously hidden toast crusts, remnants of a hasty, early departure.  the sense of another year of life passing into memory, its pleasures and pains being consigned to history and the adventure of new beginnings beckoning at the next turn of a corner fills me with hope and curiosity. 
Whether the root of this desire to vegetate is physical or emotional is an unknown, yet it happens every year and it always takes me by surprise. one morning i wake and am enfolded in a mantle of lethargy, an ennui that saps the soul of motivation.  it's not necessarily unpleasant or even on the level of awareness it just.......is.   the first inkling of it's presence is when those who love me become aware of an absence of jeni online as words dry up.   the home library ladies will comment that i'm devouring more books.   my desk slowly starts to buckle under the weight of unsorted paperwork.  the wheelchair gathers a layer of dust as i dig in for the duration.

Around the third week of November subtle signs begin to impinge on awareness until the inevitable eureka moment gallops over the horizon, usually via a conversation that swings from rhapsodising over autumnal beauty to bemoaning a lack of inspiration.   once the source of unbalance is located steps can be taken to move beyond stultification, to become more human less rodent.
  
How do these conflicting states co-exist?  it's all part of being a human/hedgehog chimera of course.


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