Today was a good day. In fact, Sunday was a good day too.
On Sunday, I woke up late because I’d gone to the Camel and Artichoke. I’d travelled with my sister. There’d been good food, live music, old friends. I plumbed my memory for trivia. There had been free books on a shelf. Shelves, even.
Sunday morning I ate some fruit and fibre and walked into town conversing with God about my life. I stopped at Caffe Nero and read a chapter of my book interspersed with tai chi latte and 2 cups of free iced water. I couldn’t get the song Samson out of my head. I bought the ingredients for a thai green curry to cook later for my family and relished the sensation of weight on my hands as I carried them home.
Last night me and Russ worked late on a study guide and I was pleasantly surprised by the japanese sushi and soy beef meze I’d ordered. When we finished I had that soul-cockle-warming feeling of having completed something. When I got back ‘home’ I chatted with my aunt about church and hospitality and how you can’t really be the first without doing the second.
This morning I paid in a hefty cheque. A woman came in effing and blinding full volume at some unseen aggravator through her mobile. It annoyed others but made me feel somewhere within the realms of ‘home’ and ‘real’. I went through the diary of the next 3 months and it looked pleasnatly like my workload would arrive somewhere between intensity and shalom. I made teas for everybody and enjoyed the 3 minute wait that necessitates a perfect brew. I was offered the opportunity of going on a writing course, which I took up.
I headed into Mordor for lunch and took some time to explore. I ordered a pizza and headed off to buy my last Empire in a while from Sainsbury’s. The girl at the till asked me as a matter of habit whether I wanted help packing then laughed at herself. She asked me what my excuse for not smiling was and I said I was thinking and she said I should smile instead. I wondered whether if everyone smiled instead of thinking the world would be a better or worse place.
A woman outside held out a flyer asking whether I wanted to volunteer. I declinined as a matter of habit but went back when the words sunk in. I walked past a fruit and veg store and mentally noted to buy my greens and roots there rather than Sainsbury’s. I returned to the pizza parlour, ate at the table and thanked the owner for a great meal. He smiled.
I headed off to the Big Smoke with my oyster and met some Manchester friends in Borders on Oxford Street for coffee or not. I pegged it over to the Barbican centre to check it out and watch a film.
I’ve thought a lot these last few days.
I’ve chatted about god and church and life.
I’ve seen or talked to some old friends, some good friends and made some new ones.
I’ve been given lots of new opportunities.
I feel independent and excited about life and its inherent possibilities and adventures.
I feel an excitement I’ve not felt in a very long time.
I had a dream about holding a lover’s hand and it felt more real and exiciting a propsect than any of those ‘other’ kinds of fantasies that pop into my and other people’s heads.
I feel good; I feel loved; I feel just as disorganised and last-minute as I always have been, but I don’t care. I just wanna get on with living life and trust that some of this hopeful excitement might splash off and colour some other travellers and troubadours along the way too. I wanna grow my hair as long as it will go and feel wild and raw and manly and kingly in the process. I wanna treat women like princesses. I wanna treat the older travellers I meet as precious works of art, helping to mend them where they’ve torn and restore them where they’ve worn. I want to light the young people I meet in a way that highlights their victories and waters their scorched roots. I wanna see the kingdom coming in real physical ways and not just in anecdotes. I wanna see the King in ways that make me go Wow again.
And as I write these words, sitting on the Northern Line going south, I turn my head to look down the almost empty carriage and see two used cotton buds lying side by side on the polished, speckled floor and marvel at the nerve someone had to clean their ears out on a tube and then leave their waxy treasure there. I want that nerve. And then I look left to the seat beside me and decide to explore the empty cigarette packet. Someone has blown their nose on a piece of kitchen roll and folded it neatly before pushing it into the empty packet. That nerve I just wanted made me unfold someone’s bogies.
I don’t wanna lose that nerve.