Thorpeness 26.7.19

Back at my beach. What a life. Feel guilt when I see people going about their daily business – me always with loads of free time. What the hell? Why feel bad? Carpe Diem. You only live once and those stickers you see on gnarly looking Land Rovers: ‘One life. Live it.’

Looking South towards the toy town houses of Aldeburgh sticking into the sea and behind the thin pencil line masts of Orford Ness lined up against the sky. Plenty of people at play on the beach and in the sea. The temperature is still well into the 30s but I think is due to break tomorrow. They recorded an all time high July temperature for the UK yesterday. 38.5C. The timing seems perfect with how big the climate debate is at the moment.

The sun has just come out and it feels so hot on my back and neck. Not English heat. This is like Mediterranean, breathe out slowly heat and guess what? It’s raining. Little cooling dabs dripping onto my skin. A wonderful sensory overload, getting increasingly heavier now and the breeze and the warmth and the rain. Tingles.

Got drunk and a little high with SisR last night and Tom / Miki and at 9.15 pm the craziest storm unleashed itself over Pettistree. Frequent flashes like in a cheap horror movie lighting up the corridors through the hall, the power out.

Had a strange night trying to sleep under the eaves in the sweltering heat of Nati’s room, disturbed by the heat, my heartbeat and strange dreams of friends who’d turned against me (not for the first time this holiday).

When I got up no one was at home apart from Emily, the cleaner. I started to feel the onset of the creeps that comes from feeling jaded after a big night – the negative thoughts and emotions. The paranoia and loss of confidence.

This pattern of thinking persisted until I got to Bawdsey, one of those end of the line places I love: the road ends with a small car park and a jetty from where you can get the ferry over the Deben estuary to Felixstowe. There’s a cafe and an ice cream van a thin strip of sand beach and not much besides.

I walked to the sea, still sombre, still unsure of myself. Alone. Totally alone at the mouth of the Deben beside Bawdsey Manor at 10.30 in the morning. Swimming in a still sea and my thoughts, those thoughts which are simply that: a thought in the moment, unique, fleeting and then gone forever. And it is an absolute truth that these thoughts create our feelings. They are entwined.

By the time I had got out after a trance-like swim, where all time and place and memory had slipped away, my self-harming thoughts had dissolved.

This thought came back to me on the drive on the way here as I thought about going a bit further to Southwold and I caught myself initially reacting with fear – ‘oh, it’s too much – I’m not up to it’ my thought seemed to be saying but then within a split second it faltered and petered out. My consciousness is so hard to understand but that moment felt like seeing a little chink of light into the workings of how I think and showed me it is kind of up to me how I can choose to approach any situation. You can be a slave to your thoughts / feelings. Or not. Although it’s not possible always just to make that choice.

2 days short of my 45th birthday and this really does sound like I’m diving deeper and deeper into the depths of my MLC. Yeehah! Next I’m going to start taking about how I need to ‘realise my full potential’.

I did have a thought earlier though about how we have been endowed, blessed with this amazing thing. Thought. It’s a bit magical. And I’ve always taken it for granted. It can be so eye opening. Those moments of no thought, no noise, like earlier and just now both when I was swimming are a type of magic. Like being cast under a spell or being in a new world. The same world but a different way of seeing it.

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