Tuesday, 21 April 2015
Out of the office window I can see the canal boats drift past and the café tables begin to fill with people. Not people enjoying post work drinks as it's a bit too early, but coffee drinkers, the retired with their papers and their halves of bitter. The young men who come out of the woodwork when the English weather turns sunny. It's barely 17° but the smell of sweat is lingering and there are pints of lager and any minute now someone will remove an item of clothing.
Because I've had an extended weekend, I have returned to hundreds of emails. I quickly feel anxious and overwhelmed and then I remember my mantra for when the day job fills me with feelings of less than and not enough. I am just a woman doing things on her job description. I have many variations of this mantra, for use in times of stress, when a panic attack begins to prickle at the back of my neck I am just a woman walking across a car park, I am just a woman buying milk, I am just a woman sending an email. I find reducing my circumstances to the most basic of descriptions infinitely soothing.
Upstairs in one of the conference rooms a local singing quartet rehearse. The songs filter through to my office and though I can't quite make out the words I know them anyway:
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
I am thinking about the half bottle of yellow, resiny wine left in my fridge. Tonight I will chop vegetables and make stew. After that I might write for a while. I will finish a painting. I will use my voice even though to do so feels fraught with a hundred unseen evils as well as those I feel familiar with; disappointment, failure, judgement. I will do it anyway. I am just a woman writing a blog. I am just a blackbird singing.