The Long & Winding Woad

It's the leaves that make you blue, not the flowers

It’s the leaves that make you blue, not the flowers

“Our ancestors were not stupid.” – A friend

The things that comfort me at times of trouble may seem strange to some: a Youtube clip from Doctor Who. The way a crow lands in the local park, when I’m walking home from work. My rat, swearing like a tiny, rodent Father Ted. (1) The excitement of waiting for the first foxglove to bloom.

Or this chap, and his insubstantial friend:

Male blackbird and his flighty friend

Male blackbird and his flighty friend

I’m blogging whilst waiting for my care worker to make a significant – to me – visit about moving me one more step along that service user’s highway. It’s a step I’ve attempted before, only to fumble, stumble, and crumble to bipolar bits.

It’s not as though the highway has been smooth, or I haven’t fallen on my rather substantial arse many a time. But – unless I’ve had one of those terrifying “blank” bits, such as at the heights of mania – I haven’t broken any laws, or limbs.

Mine, or anyone else’s.

As usual, I have enough plans and projects to stuff several crane-skin bags: coursework; paperwork to finish & post; a short story collection to complete, and publish; and a novel to finish, and send for a critique. Plus, of course, work, and my little family of husband, a pet rat, and a Dalek.

Not, perhaps, the “hard working family” beloved of politicians’ speeches. Still, with the exception of the rat, and the Dalek, we seem to be keeping fairly busy.

I found myself thinking (2) this morning, as I was feeding and watching the birds, about blackbird’s place in Celtic myth. As I understand it, he is the first of the “Eldest” animals. The others, in order of age, are Stag, then Eagle, and finally Salmon.

Protected by green

Protected by green

As a disorganised Pagan who is obsessed with reading and telling stories, I sometimes interpret life through such myths. Does it matter if I never progress past blackbird, in my quest for knowledge? For wisdom? If the moment when I finally meet the salmon in the pool never actually happens?

We live in a time of sound bites, and limited attention spans. Of slogans: though, gods know, those have been around for years.

Anyone else remember: “Keep on truckin'”? Or, if you want something both old, and new, how about: “Keep calm and carry on”?

Hmm, I don’t think so, either.

What about: “Stop, and watch the blackbird” ?

That’ll do.

For my less reflective moments, there's always tea, and cake.

For my less reflective moments, there’s always tea, and cake.

(1) Some would say my rat doesn’t swear: I do. Well, feck that.
(2) Always dangerous!

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About Sheila North

I am an author and ex-journalist, who has written novels, short stories, and poems. I also help facilitate a writers' group. Check me out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sheila-North/
This entry was posted in Bipolar, mental health, Nature and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Long & Winding Woad

  1. blahpolar says:

    Your catchphrases there made me think, “offer haven to the raven” and I know me, it’s going to be happening to me all damn day now. There’s no day like corvidae. And of course now I have the fecking Beatles earworming that song…

    The jackdaws of perception.

    Who’s your favourite Dr Who?
    Favourite episode?
    Favourite companion?

    (Tom Baker
    The one with van Goth in it.
    K9)

  2. blahpolar says:

    Fucking autocorrect. Gogh.

    • Sheila North says:

      Heh…maybe I need to add this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA6HE_5Uhrs

      Fave companion: Donna Fave Doctor: close run between Tom Baker Sylvester McCoy, & Peter Capaldi.Fave episode: possibly Ghostlight. Or Blink. Or the one with Van Gogh in it.

      Bum, I’ve got battery problems…thanks for the corvine jokes!

      • blahpolar says:

        I haven’t seen the Peter Capaldi ones yet, I love him to bits in other stuff though. The newer Who’s will arrive on a USB stick later this year (I’m faking patience). I approve of your taste. And I’ve been turning “corvidaeeeeee!” into a football chant for years. I don’t like football, and nobody likes my chant 😀

  3. Suzanne says:

    “Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life you were only waiting for this moment to arrive. Blackbird fly, into the light of the dark black night.”

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