Because this is my first post, and because I haven’t written anything for a long time, I feel nervous. I used to be a writer until my confidence flew away, but just recently I thought I’d try writing a blog, that it might entice that winged creature to return. It would be different from creative writing, easier, like writing a journal (Dear Diary, help!) but now that my fingers hover above the keyboard, self-doubt is leaning on the edge of the desk, shaking her greasy locks. Who would want to read a blog by me, a woman of a certain age, who cares for a husband of 43 years, not only disabled with Parkinson’s Disease but also a form of dementia that may or may not choose to take hold, but in his case has, big time.
In order to make any start at all, I decided I must imagine who might read my blog, (even if no-one does) and that I would write it as if speaking to them, so I am thinking about carers, in particular carers who care for their partners/spouses. There must be legions of you out there, washing, ironing, shopping, cooking, seeing that your beloved takes their medication, attends outpatient appointments, dentist, chiropodist, optician, G.P., physiotherapist, speech therapist, the list goes on and on. Does he need shoes, clothes aids? And when you’ve done all that, he needs stimulation, for heaven’s sake! When you’ve done all that, and maybe helped to wash, dress, and on occasions feed the one you care for, I bet there isn’t a lot of time left for you, and when there is, you feel too tired to do anything, to feel anything, so you just fall into bed and sleep, get up early the next morning and begin all over again. But you have a life too, a creative mind that longs to express. If you love baking cakes, growing roses, embroidering cushions, sewing dresses you are creative. Maybe you still find time to do these things, but maybe you have just lost interest, had it all drained out of you with obligations.
I spend a lot of time looking out of the window. I look at the sky, the formation of clouds, the way the light changes as the day progresses. I watch birds, butterflies, bees, imagine what it’s like to have wings, to fly away, then I return into myself and my role as carer. One day I’ll write about it in poems, but in the meantime, I’ll write my blog, and in the writing, I’ll explore the possibilities of how to keep creativity alive.