Diamonds on the soles of her shoes


Of my many, and ever increasing number of neuroses, is my fear of boredom. Of mental, physical or spiritual inactivity. That somehow I will read, work or spiritualise my way into heaven. I’ve tried this. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t stop me trying.

So one of my many, and ever increasing list of problems, is dealing with an empty diary. I keep my appointments on my calendar function on my phone. Because I like digital order and the nerdish satisfaction I have from it. Usually this consists of work rotas, gigs, practices and meeting up with various folk. I like when each day has a little blue square of happily occupied bliss. I like it even better when one little blue square runs into the next and then the appointments get highlighted in red as a clash, like some kind of James Bond doomsday device countdown read-out.

These little things give my self-justifying soul a warm and fuzzy feeling.

The last little blue square of bliss I had was a wedding a month ago. And that was it. When I look at my phone it greets me with no ‘upcoming appointments’. A constant reminder of the uncertain mornings, afternoons and evenings that lies before me.

This no longer scares me. In fact I’ve grown to quite like the idea. Like new shoes that feel odd and uncomfortable, almost constricting compared to your beloved and smelly trainers that have finally made a final demand for holiday entitlements and a pension fund. These new and, almost brutal new shoes slowly worm their way into your life till you try on the old trainers one day when they’ve just popped back from the golf course and you realise that you’ve grown used to the new ones.

I promise to refrain from shoe metaphors for the remainder of our time together.

I’m getting used to the idea of waiting. I’m getting used to the idea of not justifying myself by what I do. I’m getting used to the idea of having nothing in the diary for the next 3 months.  I’m getting used to the idea of not being happy about it.

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September 2007

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