During the winter months, it’s difficult to avoid cycling in the dark, if, like me, a bicycle is your main mode of transport. So, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I am used to criss- crossing the streets in yellow with lights blazing. So, I was more than a little shaken when, on my way to my depression support group last week, a bus went past me close enough for the draught to shake me in my saddle and make me struggle to hold the road.
I managed to keep my composure and stay on my bike as the bus thundered down the hill ahead of us. I couldn’t help notice the luminated sign above the back window announcing ‘Sorry. Not in Service’. The bus was empty, and quickly disappeared off on the road ahead.
The sign on the back of the bus gave me much food for thought as I regained my equilibrium, and continued down the hill at a steady pace. Here was this massive presence on the road which had all but swept me off my bicycle and into the gutter despite being ‘lit up like a Christmas tree’, as a policeman once described me approvingly. I am back at work, appear to be going about my daily activities without a hitch, but in fact, no one’s on board.
I am Not in Service.
Over the past few weeks, on new medication, as I have mentioned before, that red bus that nearly knocked me out of my saddle is the brightest thing in my life right now. It’s not a coincidence that I am writing this on Monday morning, rather than what I usually do, which is write it over the course of the weekend.
My psychiatrist wrote to me with a new appointment…in April. So, not the monthly appointments he promised when I saw him at the beginning of February.
I am going to return to a poem that I posted on an earlier edition of the blog. I don’t know anyone who says it better. If you do, please let me know.
After great pain a formal feeling comes–
The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;
The stiff Heart questions–was it He that bore?
And yesterday–or centuries before?
The feet, mechanical, go round
A wooden way
Of ground, or air, or ought,
A quartz contentment, like a stone.
This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow–
First chill, then stupor, then the letting go.
Emily Dickinson (1830-86)