The Pillowbook of Prudence.

On learning…

It’s an age since a Pillowbook has appeared on the blog. A Pillowbook, if it is in the style of Sei Shonagon, is a sharp-eyed look at life, maybe even acerbic. The last few months have been too… soulful for me to be acerbic. I re-learned how grief can pull you apart. How kind attention and love can put you back together. How loyal friends stick by you, how loyal readers keep you focused and stay loyal no matter that the book you have promised them seems like a mirage.

I learned that old dogs can learn new tricks. My blind dog has learned that he has a memory. A memory of geographic layout. That if he lets his anxiety go and his memory kick in, he can walk anywhere without accident. I learned that family and friends can pull you through anything. As dogs, horses and family members began bending and then falling, other family members and a remarkable group of close friends from across the globe gave touching support. A word, a cup of coffee, a Chatzy, an email, dinner.

I learned that skies do have silver linings, that there is sunshine after rain, that it is truly darkest before they turn on the lights! That the worst things are often blessings in disguise, pointing the Way.

Sea froth.

Today and yesterday the sun has shone, the grass is so long it tickles the dogs’ bellies. The waves have growled and grumbled and made dark beige-coloured froth that reminds me of a delicious coffee flummery. The birds have begun a spring chorus. A magpie began his calortle-ortle-ortle at 3.45 AM today and I couldn’t be angry because I wondered if he was as glad as I that the rain had finally stopped, the temperature had risen and the fragrance of spring was heavy on the night air.

Australian Magpie.

More than anything I’ve learned that there are some people who can give and give and more’s the pity that there are some who just can’t. Who haven’t got the ability to look at the real have-nots and realise they have no right to complain about what they have or don’t have in life.

And as the Pillowbook often relates: I’ve learned that there are still those who persist in wearing black, even when our weather has been indifferent for months, merely adding to the sombre mood of an Australian winter. May the God of Small Things throw them ‘smalls’ in different colours! If I have to look at the greys and the blacks, it’s refreshing to think there might be bright socks, stockings or even … shoes beneath it all.