I’m out in the fields with the dog. It’s cold and wet, but not actually raining, and I’m hoping to get home before it starts again. I’m sloshing along, thinking about what T said, that I should take my own photos for the blog, but I’m also thinking it’s enough just to be finding the right words, that anything else would be too much.
So that’s decided, but still the thinking goes on, and I’m not catching much of it, but it seems I’m trying to work out all sorts of other things too, things it’s impossible to know the answer to, or do anything about. And there’s this pressure in my head like the start of a headache. And a sense of looking out at the world rather than being alive within it. It’s as if, when I got ready for my walk, when I put on my coat and gloves and wellies, I also put in my earplugs and pulled on my motorbike helmet. I’m looking through the visor, seeing grass, water, mud, but nothing’s getting through. And the thoughts ricochet inside this helmet-head of mine, while everything on the outside bounces off.
Then the sun comes out and changes everything. It lights up the distant hills and spreads and pours, down the slopes, across the fields, flooding them with green and gold. It passes me and travels on, and I turn to watch, and in this direction the grass is shimmering like tinsel, and the dog is running towards me, with water flying all around her like diamonds.
The ground is wet as a sponge. Every step I take sounds different, depending on the exact mix of mud and grass and water. There are normal splish splosh sounds, but there’s also squelching and oozing, squirting and slurping, there’s the slap as my foot lands, and the suck as I pull my heel from the mud.
A dog barks from a nearby farm. Rooks and crows and jackdaws rise from a field and spill across the sky. My thoughts are short and simple – ‘dog barking’ – ‘rooks flying’ – ‘sun on my face’ – and there’s space between each thought. There’s no headache or tightness, almost no sensation of having a head at all, just the faintest stirring of my hair in the breeze. It’s as if, on this occasion, when I couldn’t do it for myself, the sun came out and pulled my helmet off for me.