The Brain, within its Groove
Runs evenly–and true–
But let a Splinter swerve–
‘Twere easier for You–
To put a Current back–
When Floods have slit the Hills–
And scooped a Turnpike for Themselves–
And trodden out the Mills–
Regular readers of this blog (all three and a half of you!) will have noticed, but been too kind to say, that I have a tendency to obsess to the point of losing site of everything else. It’s as if I become possessed by a demonic pilot. Try as I may to steer myself back to the rest of my life, I cannot seize control of the navigation panel.
At the moment I am possessed by the notion I may be autistic. For as long as I can remember people have quite happily told me I’m weird, or eccentric or, if they’re kinder perhaps, ‘arty’. And this has always baffled me. But a series of chance encounters coupled with a brief conversation with my sister Angela, who is a school counsellor, led me to research autism.
I’ve now taken every test I could find; joined a zillion online fora (forums?); read half a dozen books and dog knows how many blogs, websites and academic papers (where I could access them for free). As a result, I’ve ignored everything else (except paid work), including the project I’d previously been obsessed with: my kitchen – see ➡️
That enormous tube is a roll of vinyl I ordered to finally do away with the grotesque forced marriage of greige carpet (not unpleasant in itself) and reddish brown tiles (very unpleasant both in themselves and in combination with everything!). The question ‘who fits a carpet in a kitchen?!’ has pretty much been torturing me for the last ten years. Every time I walk into that room I am hit by that fucking carpet. I hate it. It makes cooking a very uncomfortable occupation, and baking almost painful. Who wants to spend time vacuuming tiny, potentially fetid particlest? I don’t bake to give myself a reason to clean. I hate cleaning (as you can probably tell from the photo). But, I love a clean, uncluttered space, so I do try and do it. But I need a clear path and, right now, I can’t find one.
At the moment I’m so focussed on how my brain may be wired and what I could do about it, I don’t have the capacity to also imagine myself clearing everything out of that room. And I need to be able to imagine a thing before I can do it. I have thoroughly imagined the way the room will look once it’s done. I’ve scrolled through several possibilities and settled on the one I hope will solve all my getting food on the table problems. But, ‘OMG, yeah, I do collect things!’ And, ‘that explains what happened on our last evening in Köln!’ And, ‘yep, I can be very boring for people who don’t want to go into the minutia of why I chose this particular shirt.’ And, and, and… I’m only able to write this post because it’s about it.
But now I’m aware how boring I can be I don’t want to bore you and, anyway, I’ve run out of things to say about it. So here’s a photo of my two favourite people at my favourite beach, taken when my son came to visit in April. It was his first visit since 2018, and he stayed for three whole weeks (joy of joys!). I’ve been meaning to post about it ever since, but there was the problem with the fridge, and the looming (now past) trip to Germany with my family for my brother’s big birthday… so I never found the necessary clarity. Not that there was that much to write about, it was just like he was home again. Even though this house has never been his home, he fit right in. He had to work while he was here, so I gave him my room and I took up residence in the kitchen (before we turned it into the squalid pit you see above). It was lovely and calming, I felt like myself again. And it strikes me that he is probably the only person who knows me without my ‘look, I’m just like everyone else!’ mask.
It is not unusual for me to spend days polishing a blog post. I read and reread, rewrite whole paragraphs and move sentences around compulsively. Then come the smaller things, like typos and grammatical errors, for which I search like a pig on a truffle hunt. On first reading most of the stuff I write doesn’t make much sense. It jumps about, is full of what look like non sequiturs, and tends to end abruptly. So I add introductions and conclusions, like this. But today, just to show you how messy it is inside my head (as it’s my current obsession and all…) I’m going to leave it as it is, and publish with all the horrors.
Apologies to all pedants 💚
Oh, the header image is of a pencil drawing (huge) by Elizabeth Ogilvie and can be seen at Gracefield Art Centre in Dumfries until 20 August.
The end. But possibly the beginning.