I haven't been away since Christmas. I was meant to be going up to Edinburgh to stay with my mum and step-dad over Easter, but when the time came, I wasn't able to concentrate enough to drive that far safely. Actually, I was barely driving at all because I didn't feel it was fair on other road-users for me to do so at the time, such was my lack of concentration. In the end, Mum and J came down to me for a couple of days over Easter, and Mum's been down to stay with me a couple of times on her own since then too. At last, I have made it up north to stay with them. To be honest, my concentration still wasn't very good on the drive up, but I don't think I was dreadfully unsafe (I wouldn't have come if I thought I would be). Thankfully the roads were pretty quiet too as I came up in the middle of a bank holiday weekend (Sunday), and it was a fairly easy run.
My sleep is still very erratic, and I don't know whether it was just the change of scenery or what, but last night was very unsettled. I felt all wrong. I can't really describe it ... just sort of out of place, which isn't something I usually feel at Mum's. I think perhaps it's just the weird way that things are at the moment, but it was most unnerving, and it contributed to me not getting to sleep until after 6am. Of course, this meant that I then didn't wake up terribly promptly, and eventually Mum woke me with a cuppa at 12.30pm. There's something very lovely about being brought a fresh cup of tea in bed, don't you think?
The good weather seems to have left Edinburgh as soon as I've arrived (typical!) and today has been very blustery and a tad chilly. Not that I went outside to experience the chilliness - I took J's word for it when he popped to the shops. No, I have done very, very little today, almost to the point of beginning to go a little stir-crazy. I have, though, played the piano. Mum has a wonderful baby grand piano in the living room, which, for some reason, I've shied away from playing for the past couple of years, perhaps just because I haven't been playing much at home either. However, I have played a little more at home recently, so I decided to bring some music up with me in case I got itchy fingers, especially as I don't have my violin with me. I spent an hour or so this afternoon sight reading some Scarlatti sonatas, and playing one that I used to be able to play, but which hasn't seen the light of day for maybe seven years or so. That one's the Sonata in B minor (in case you're interested), and it's odd because although I haven't played it for such a long time, I have 'sung' it in my head a huge number of times during these past difficult months. Actually, it's a piece that has often come to mind at a variety of different points in life during those years that I haven't played it. I've no idea why. Anyway, I can't say that I brilliantly today, by any stretch of the imagination, but my fingers did seem to remember most of it - just enough so that at times I would forget to read the music and I'd then very quickly forget where I was up to and lose my place. I have to say, it makes a big difference playing a proper piano to playing my digital piano that I got 21 years ago.
There are few things at the moment in which I can really lose myself, and from which I gain solace, but music is, at last, providing a bit of both again. I still don't have the right words to do the writing that I really want to be getting on with, but I am reassured by the presence of creativity in a different area, perhaps a neighbouring area of brain. That's what I'm hoping, anyway, and it does kind of feel like that. It feels like the music might gently tickle the writing 'muscles' and nudge them in to action. I know that I need that to happen, but I'm also just trying to take comfort in the creativity of the music itself. I can lose myself in music, and whilst listening to music can achieve that to a degree, it doesn't satisfy the fidgetiness of emotional upset/distress. In fact, when I'm depressed I find it very difficult to sit quietly and just listen to music. I get so much more from actually making music at these times, and I get different thing from making music with the violin, from doing so with the piano, or by singing. Although it's still very hard to feel very positive about anything very much, I can tell that the slightly alien feeling that's been nudging my insides since doing more music again has been the feeling of pleasure. I have to keep reminding myself that that's what the feeling is so that I don't get frightened by it and run away. I know that sounds odd...
So tomorrow I may well have another tinkle on the piano while Mum's out at her painting class and J's out at his bridge class (yes, they've taken to retirement now ;o) ), although that does rather depend on my managing to get to sleep at a relatively reasonable hour (it's already 12.45am) and getting up in the morning. Mum will get back home from her art class soon after 1pm, and I'm hoping that, after we've had a little lunch, we may then go out to the countryside for a bit. The weather forecast isn't fantastic, but it's better than Wednesday, and it would still be lovely to see the hills and the loch at Flotterstone.
I'm not up here for long - just a few days - but maybe this short time away from home will help. Sometimes a change of scenery can interrupt the monotony of everyday 'life' when you live alone, can't work, aren't studying, and aren't well enough to do all the things you think you might if you didn't have the 'usual' commitments of family and work. Sometimes feeling constantly exhausted and poorly isn't quite so miserable when I'm in a different place or seeing people - friends or family. Sometimes, a bit of time away can help me through the relentless battles with my health. That's what I'm hoping from these few days, though I'm not spending too much energy on hope in case I'm disappointed.
I'll sign off now. See if I can shut my mind down and get some rest. See if I can sleep tonight so that I can get up in the morning. I will listen to the silence around me and hope it drowns out the noise of my thoughts.