I work as a therapist, and so there is often a need for tissues. I share my rented room with other therapists, and we all bring our own tissue box which we keep in the cupboard between our sessions.
When I wanted to blow my nose the other day, I found my hand reaching automatically into SOMEONE ELSE’S box of tissues.
This immediately reminded me of a story Robert Bly tells about himself in his wonderful ‘A Little Book on the Human Shadow’. He’s being interviewed by William Booth.
Let me give you one more answer to the question, ‘How do I know I have a shadow?’ The other day I was making coffee for Ruth (his wife) and myself. I put a spoon and a half of ground coffee in her filter and the same in mine. Then something inside me reached back and took another half spoonful for mine. It wasn’t me – I didn’t do it. I just noticed it happen.
I love that he admitted to this. I might talk more about the rest of this book another day – and how we should all aspire to eating our shadows – but for today I’m just going to acknowledge that part of me that feels I can’t afford to use my own tissues.
In some areas, I am very non-culturally-snobby. (What is the word for the opposite of snobby?) I love Kinky Freidman’s detective stories. I love the Harry Potter films. I love Rachel Hale’s photos very much, buy her kitten calendars religiously, and have the little chap on the left on my fridge in magnet form.
Musically, however, I have issues. I always stay off the dancefloor at weddings, looking and feeling slightly superior. If music is popular, or mainstream, I’m much less likely to like it.
Yesterday a mainstream radio DJ did a guest spot on a usually-quirky radio show. He played Abba. Abba! The music-snob in me started turning up its nose.
I caught myself. I turned the radio up instead. I sang along, loudly and out of tune.
PS I heard yesterday that my new novel will be at the front of the WHSmith travel shops (ie in airports and train stations) when it comes out in paperback in March, how exciting is that? Hurray for Snowbooks. Oh, and you can buy the hardback for your mum for Christmas from this Monday…£13.19 down from £20 on Amazon here…
It’s possible that I’ve already told you that my debut novel The Letters is coming out with Snowbooks on March 2nd.
This is something I’ve wanted practically since I was born, and as you can imagine I’ve been a little pre-occupied with it.
Last night, driving home from work, I became aware of the pattern of my thoughts. What will the back cover look like? How shall I organise the blog tour? Will it sell more than ten copies? Etc. etc. etc. Busy thoughts, pointless thoughts, boring thoughts.
Book book book, I muttered to myself. And then I said it louder. Book Book. Book Book Book. BOOOK BOOK BOOK BOOK BOOOOOK. Suddenly I was a chicken.
And then I felt much better.