Thursday, 17 December 2015

Furrowed Brow

Escape will not come when I'm worried. When I'm hell-bent on trying to find or force a new course. Worry infiltrates my every deed, fills my body and surrounds like a disease, multiplies and spreads like the Big C. Cancer.
Except this is not that, there's no terminal sentence attached to the Big W. That I know of, if this is that. Can you die from, of Worry? Some people die of a broken heart, the heart pining for someone its lost; others from shock, a sudden tragedy or financial ruin. Some linger in sadness or pain, others disappear like a light going out, the power cut off from their body. Some desperate souls take action, planned or on impulse, because the other Big W: the World and trying to live among its peoples, can get too much, and nothing, so it seems to them at their lowest ebb, can ever remedy this. Life will always be a struggle regardless of their intent or outward situation. Nothing is ever what it seems.
Didn't Lewis Carroll's Alice say that? My brain is so fuddled, I can't think. I feel like the sozzled dormouse in the teapot at the Mad Hatter's tea party. Oh, wait, perhaps I'm confused... Wasn't there a similar scene in Anne of Green Gables? With a mouse drunk on Marilla's famed cordial...oh, hang on, wasn't that Anne's bosom friend, Diane Berry? Anne playing hostess and unwittingly plying her friend with a fortified wine or brandy. I'm sure there was a mouse somewhere at any rate...something involving pastry...?
Anyway, what I was trying to get at is too often we take things at face value and don't think or want to delve deeper. Our lives are so busy....we don't have the time...we don't wish to intrude...but then those with perpetual furrowed brows never ask for help, and it's so easy to believe them when they say they're fine. Just peachy. No other details are ever given. The conversation is flippant because after all worries are difficult to explain. Words are too often inadequate to describe the exact fear and why it may have arisen. Worries are personal, sometimes sensible, but mostly absurd.
As is Cancer.
Cancer cannot be reasoned with. And it normally strikes at a time in your life when you're unoccupied, which is something else it shares with Worry. Some people are able to distract, to avoid whatever is causing them angst; I find I cannot and so this leads to another Big W: Writer's Block, which only maddens me further and removes an anchoring measure. My mind infuriatingly going round in circles like a dog chasing a cat, a cat a mouse, a mouse... what does a mouse chase? A chunk of tempting cheese in a trap pulled along on a string? Tea? Pastry? See above. Once again the mouse conundrum strikes.
No, I refuse to return to that. I do not wish to be sent off on some wild goose chase, although at least my mind is now contemplating fowl and not rodents.
But this is what happens when the mind resists other offerings, and mine constantly defies my will. There's no discipling or training it, it will pick and pick until no stone goes unturned; every tiny bit of adhered grit dusted off, each clean form memorised and surface eye-balled. The stony heaps grows as does the worry. It's worse than a dog worrying sheep who won't listen to simple commands such as a gentle 'Come' or a roared 'Leave Off!' And so nimble on its feet that it runs rings around its red-faced owner. Can't catch me, catch me now. Fooled you! I'm still going...
Virginia Woolf said a writer should have a room of one's own; that's all very well, but what if within that room your mind at times declines to be inhabited. It only wants to engage in the Big W, allow the tractor wheels to throw up clods of mud and plough crookedly. The wrinkled brow, narrowed eyes, and pursed lips rise and indent the already visibly creased surface. The lungs inhale, exhale, shallowly, the pulse beats erratically. The stomach churns, the skins erupts. The joints click and creak like an old house withstanding gale force winds or defending against a violent storm.

Picture Credit: Ploughed Field, 1830, Caspar David Friedrich