Operation Oysterhood: 19 January

OYSTERHOOD is reclusiveness or solitude, or an overwhelming desire to stay at home.

— @HaggardHawks

A long, intense day. It began with coffee with the wonderful Catrina Wessels, who is Karavan Press’s literary agent. Seeing her is always a joy and I haven’t had the pleasure for quite a long time. It was great to talk books and possibilities with her.

For the rest, a lot of admin, organising and email writing. There are days when I think that I will never get them all answered. EVER.

My counsellor asked me today whether I feel exhausted after our sessions. It differs. Mostly, I am energised by the insights we reach, or relieved about being able to confront stuff, but sometimes the work with her is hard and draining. And everything – cleaning out my home, writing, seeing a counsellor – about this year so far feels like an excavation, external and internal. I am digging – using both spades and brushes as my tools – in cupboards, in the past, in language and my soul. Some of this is really tough and nearly impossible to face. At the end of my session with the counsellor today, I thought: Karina, just articulate these five sentences and get it over with. I think I know what the key to unlocking the deeply buried pain I feel is. It is so simple, and yet it feels like climbing Mount Everest – beyond my capability. And it’s not enough that I know this for myself. It is the act of articulation that will open the path to healing, calm. There is still so much grieving to be done, especially for those things that are not gone, but remain unreachable for the time being. How brave am I really?

A long day. At the end, there were still a few tasks on the to-do list that were waiting, but I just gave up at six. I had to free a bird that somehow ended up in my bedroom. Luckily, she realised pretty quickly where the big open bathroom window was and flew away.

Afterwards, I just set in the early evening sun with The Cats and had a glass of pink wine and slowly the tensions of the day began to disappear.

Last night, I found a relatively big praying mantis in the kitchen (apparently a bad omen when they come inside the house) and had to guide her to freedom.

Now, my inner lost bird and praying mantis need to be set free.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local. Get vaccinated, please. Live.

“Physical distancing remains one of the key strategies to curb this pandemic.”


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