is as good as a rest.
As it happens I’ve had both. It is wonderful how a break from the microscope of daily life has shown me a way to feel a little less trapped. Being awed by extraordinary natural beauty, has left me hungry for the world away from this corner of Shropshire, and shown me that perhaps I can escape. After a week I was able to feel myself breathing more confidently, moving assuredly away from worrying whether Mrs Miggins down the road thought I was a bit of a lazy madam and moving away from trying to squish and squash myself to make myself more palatable to others. The need to be liked is a powerful one but I have been at my most miserable when I have allowed it to dominate my behaviour. It doesn’t seem to matter quite so much when I have other things to look at. What to do with this new found sense of freedom ? Not a lot. Just try to turn the mirror outwards, consider my behaviour in terms of how it makes others feel instead of being tied up in how I think they make me feel.
What I write has improved too. I have enjoyed seeing new things and seeing different people, from so many countries and cultures. Perspective is a curious thing that shifts and shimmers and I’m never sure my view is quite true. Being jolted from the norm has been a good thing.
I’m still obsessed with poetry and have countless scribblings on napkins and receipts and there are some that I think may bloom. I’ve given myself a week to recombobulate and trawl through my eight-hundred and ninety-seven photographs before starting a more structured writing schedule next week. I have the last part of writing short fiction to finish, and a raft of material to fashion into submission worthy poems. Conveniently my next chapter in How to be a Poet bears the title On Submitting to Magazines and Journals:The Patented Jo Bell Method. It has tables and whatnot, plus SEND THE BLIGHTERS OFF written on the first page.
Watch this space.