Entry: Dancing on ice Feb 12, 2004

The garden refreshed after rain, coming home and walking quickly through the warm summer shower to the shelter of the stoep (porch), the darkness gathering on the mountains all around. Dogs restless in the big kitchen. The deep memorable pleasures of summer evenings.

Thomas Moore writing about envy and jealousy in Care of the Soul. Sometimes I feel I am skating on the surface of my own life, unwilling to look at what lies buried, what is kept tucked away because it seems too painful for reflection. Lent is coming and I pray for metanoia. That change of heart and stilling of the ‘comparing mind’ from which envy springs. Others who have more satisfying and creative lives, easier lives, more successful careers. Hating the dilettante in myself, the clever would-be writer toying with ideas and never getting down to work. No diligence, no stickability. I see that in Petra at times. She is also Libra, the air sign of restless flitting thinkers. We need to anchor ourselves in place and task.

When I sit quietly for a while, the heartache comes up almost palpably. Dread and grief around all that has happened to Ula. The overwhelming sense of failure. The habit of avoidance. A sadness that I am drifting away from You, that I let go and wander off rather than dare to go deeper. Unshed tears, shining and bitter, dammed within. A lonely figure skating on a pond of patchy ice, twirling and spinning, always in danger of losing her balance. The ice will crack and the dark water will claim her eventually, but not yet, not just for this moment, not as long as she can keep the dance going, as long as she keeps running on the spot, spinning, whirling out of reach.


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