Tuesday, December 2, 2008


A cluster of flowerpots on the window sill next to the Christmas cactus, seemingly full of nothing but bare earth.

Blogger’s block. When all else fails, I’ve been told, write about what’s in front of you.

Fair enough.

R gave me some winter beans. Dry, hard and brown. Plant them in pots, she said, and keep them in a coolish room. Once they have sprouted - probably in December or January - replant them outside. The beans will be ready to eat by spring and the plants are chockfull of nitrogen to feed the soil.

The soil needs it. The prospective vegetable patch used to be lawn until a few weeks ago and is littered with pebbles and broken bricks. As neolithic remains have been found just a few hundred yards away I peer at each spadeful of earth as I dig in the hope of discovering some human artefact, more out of a desire for a link across the millenia with my predecessors on this plot than acquisitiveness. No luck.

As with gardening so in life. Planting seeds in a cold, seemingly barren time with no guarantee of a successful outcome. (After last year’s abortive attempt at growing carrots the fantasy that I am naturally green-fingered has perished). Earlier this week, following six months of dithering, I declined an invitation to join the permanent staff at the day job. It seems the right thing to do.

In mid-January I step back and become a floater, covering for sickness and holiday absence and in the market for massage work. I haven’t done any massage since October due to lack of time and energy and I miss it, badly. And I will turn my hand to anything else that comes along. Much better in all sorts of ways but not the most obvious choice in an economic downturn.

The business cards are printed. A massage client is booked in for this coming weekend. The beans will act as a serviceable reminder. They need care, water, light. I hope they grow.


On the subject of faith, Zhoen and Dale recently put up truly excellent posts on their personal stances vis a vis signing up to an organised religion. Worth a read, both of them.


Relatively Retiring said...

How brave, and what acts of faith - both the bean planting and the professional leap in the dark. May much growth and productivity come from both for you.

Dale said...

Oh, thank you for the link! And more for the post.

I find that if I go more than a day or two without doing massage now, I get cranky and unhappy. I need it at least as much as my clients. Probably more.

I hope it all works out for you! I can tell, even from across the pond, that you have magic hands.

I know, it feels nuts to follow something so unsteady and unpredictable in this economic climate. But on a deeper level it feels nuts to do anything else. I think massage is probably the sanest thing I do :-)

Dale said...

* I realize that's not saying much, but you have to start somewhere :-)

herhimnbryn said...

I am sure the 'massager' gets as much from touch as the client. And touch is so important. I find more and more with the elderly clients I work with, that holding a hand or an arm around someone's shoulder is often welcomed, once we feel comfortable with each other. A couple of female clients have said that no one has touched them since their partners died.

And planting anything is always an adventure, will it/ won't it grow?

On a practical note ( and I am still learning), your garden sounds like it could use some chook manure and hay dug into it. Will encourage the worms!

I understand the job choice, I do. It will work out.

Cat B said...

Hi! So enjoy reading your blog for its honesty and the journey you're on. I've been an independent artist through good and bad times for 30 years now. What I've learned? Just keep the faith, keep smiling, keep offering your good intentions and what you desire will come to you. I love that you've made a choice for your own self and not taken the safe route. Only wish I were closer to book a massage!

mm said...

What encouraging comments. They really help. Thank you everyone.

Anonymous said...

Hang on in there. Don't suppose you'd fancy an amaryllis bulb, by any chance? Or some flower seeds? I seem to have taken Julia Cameron's "sense of abundance" too literally.


mm said...

Jan: There is plenty of room for flowers, bulbs too.

Do you ever come this way? There is an email link now on my Blogger profile ...