Tuesday, 7 October 2014

A Book to Read When You're Feeling Restless

Posted By Daisy

LAST weekend was lovely. We went to an exhibition of First World War paintings at the Imperial War Museum and had drinks in a jazz cafe. We went for a tramp on a very autumny Hampstead Heath, huffing and puffing our way up to Parliament Hill. We had coffee and bought poetry books and browsed designer vintage shops in the village, and walked past Richard and Judy, and Will Self.

On Saturday night we had quails eggs dipped in celery salt, tangy green peppers, tortilla and Aperol Spritz's in Brixton Village.

But on Sunday morning, somewhere between washing and drying my hair I started to feel weird. Dissatisfied-weird.* Is it all just frippery, I wondered as I brushed out my hair. What's the point of all this activity? In the end, all I really want is to fall in love again. Does it really matter where I am? London is the same as anywhere if you have no partner in life. I may as well be at home. What's the point of it all? What's the MEANING of life?

And then I went to my Kundalini yoga class. Sitting crosslegged in the bright, sunlit room, I listened to the teacher.

'Close your eyes and think of someone last week who made you feel good,' she said. 'Breathe in ‘Thank’ and breathe out ‘You’.  

I thought of all the lovely things that had happened during that previous week and my heart beat a little slower, and my mind quieted slightly. The whole room breathed in and out.

'Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't listen to the negative voice in your head,' she continued.

'We all struggle with the same problems. Just focus on the important things which are health and family.'

And then with a smile in her voice, she told us to open our eyes and stand up- and made us dance around the room to this song...
And then this....
Who could possibly feel anxious after all that?

I re-read 'The Pilot's Wife' every few years but still love it. Anita Shreve's style and tone are perfect. She writes great stories, always with mentions of sea glass and lobsters, creamy wool blankets on a wraparound porch and glasses of chilled white wine.
Other lovely books to read to distract a whizzing mind are Roisin Meaney's 'Something in Common' (so weepy) and 'Some Girls Do' by Clodagh Murphy (I visited Highgate Cemetery just because the heroine in this book says it's a great place for a date.)

Or you could watch a rubbish movie, read the newspapers (to bring you outside of your own mind), ring your mum/sister/friend you feel comfortable moaning to, and remember, life is just peaks and troughs.

My mum says to 'Relax the Head', Helen Fielding says 'Keep Buggering On', my auntie says 'There's no point in crying into your soup, just get out there', and a very wise and resilient friend says:


*Mostly, (especially while walking along to my music in a crowded tube station, weirdly enough) I feel overwhelmed with contentment in London.

No comments:

Post a Comment