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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