I woke up early after a restless sleep , showered and dressed to meet the 10 am bus to Marazion . I planned my journey by writing out my request on pieces of paper so I didn’t have to type out my destination on the bus . It worked well. I took a seat upstairs at the front of the bus which afforded me scenic views of the journey as we passed by the coastal road listening to the chatter of locals in a singalong Cornish accent.
As I arrived in Marazion the sun was high amongst whispers of clouds in a bright clear blue skies. I stepped off the bus and made my way to the causeway as the retreating tide revealed the stone pilgrim path to St Michael’s Mount. As I reached the island I rested in the shade of a shelter to type out my next communication on entering the ticket office. Several messages were exchanged to numerous middle class , gentlefolk of the National Trust that I had not received my recently acquired membership card.When I am typing in front of someone I sometimes panic and make too many omissions and mistakes in my typing. The predictable speech also interrupts the conversation, sometimes I join in with the laughter when it intervenes to make ridiculous comments but sometimes the joke is rinsed out for me !! The fact the I couldn’t see the iPad because of the reflection of the sun didn’t help as I had to sign to the woman that she had to follow me in a shady kiosk. It was a good job it wasn’t a man he might have got the wrong message !!
It was a long climb to the castle but I was able rest when I needed . I stayed a couple of hours on the island wandering around the castle and gardens . Resting in the shade to read my book for several half hours , on the castle lawns, on the rocks, in the gardens and eventually on the sands. I had to make sure that I could walk back before the high tide rose to hide the causeway , as getting a boat would be too complicated.
While I had time to reflect I realised that my bodily function isn’t the only loss that I am facing. I am all too aware that the quality of friendships and relationships with many people is also diminishing as I am not able to partake in any didactic conversations. My ability to be spontaneous and to joke and laugh has gone. I know that my close friends will continue support me but the essence of these unique interpersonal relationships in my silent world the relationships are fading, losing the detail like over exposed photographs. This realisation of the impact of being amongst a large group of friends dawned on me like a sledge hammer on my hard day last Sunday.
I must learn to be satisfied in my solitude by appreciating my solitude. I can learn to be content in own company to read, to paint, play music , to write and maybe to travel while I can . I must be brave like I am today to being as self sufficient as I can. Today has given some confidence to manage amongst strangers and unfamiliar places alone.
So although MND also threatens friendships as well as my body , the teachings from the Buddhist retreat day has given me confidence to practice being calm and peaceful in my silence rather then frustrated and anger of this additional imposition that I have to carry for the rest if my short life remaining .
When we all gathered together in the early evening we exchanged brief sketches of our day before we all prepared tea. I ate my mashed up fish and sauce alone before they all tucked in their food as I am increasingly getting embarrassed of my eating habits of slobbering, choking and smearing food all over my mouth. To avoid the awkward moments I explained I wanted to catch the sunset, I left them to review their day as I made my way to the coastal path which was lit by the evening sun as it was almost setting over the hill like a golden glowing orb. The birds recognising the end if the day provided an choral symphony with the waves providing the constant background rhythm.