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Blog - Liz Bentley

Waiting for the Tesco Delivery Man – Rejection and Resignation, and trying to find the sense in the Chaos

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Liz with Tesco Delivery Man

Liz with lovely Tesco Delivery Man who nearly delivered to the scary house

One of the reasons I love writing this blog for DAO, is that my work is totally accepted. I’m not told it needs structure, or that there have been more than 5 submissions an hour during lockdown. I love that I write and my writing gets published in it’s sometimes chaotic state. There is always so much to learn as a writer, the learning is as painful as my therapy was to get it out in the first place.  I think what I need is a mentor, yes, that is what I need. One who has the time, like my old therapist had, to go through it, the process with me, and make sense of it all, get the disorder into order.  Or is this me just feeling resigned?

What I have learned about the Coronavirus is that I do not resign myself in accepting anything. I disbelieve everything I am told by our media, government or our World Health Organisations. I stay local, I ask my neighbour who is an ICU doctor in St Geroge’s hospital, I observe what is going on in the streets of Peckham, and I listen to my clients stories, they have families worldwide, they tell me about the bigger world. This is what I take in and where I make my judgments, if at all. I am a maverick.

One of the dilemmas of being sometimes ‘choatic’ is that I’m trying not to be but I can’t help but be. This blog is chaotic already, I have moved from writing about writing in an ambiguous way (I am starting to send my work to agents and am beginning to acquire the rejections letters) to writing about the Coronavirus.  When I listen to a story, when I dig a little deeper, the story is so much more complicated, and yet somehow, somewhere, I need to make my story less chaotic, get rid of what is not meaningful. My life’s work as a psychotherapist “whatever you tell me is valuable, whatever you write is right” it is all part of the story, but it is has to be condensed into something that is tangible. That is the hard bit.

One of the things I struggle with as a writer is reading. I am writing books yet I don’t read many. My husband used to joke about it, four years into our relationship he pointed out that I had the same book by the side of my bed from when we had met. Those years were particulary difficult for me. I went on a holiday soon after and re-read the book. I had started it about 20 times. Hanif Kureishi, Something to Tell You, it is about a middle aged therapist.  I am a middle aged therapist, I can now remember nothing other than that about the book. It clearly wasn’t internalised.

What is a book?  What book do you remember?  What books stay in your mind? I worry I am losing my memory. My mother got vascula dementia, my father alzheimers, is it early onset? Sometimes my husband and I decide to watch a film, sometimes ten minutes in we look at each other and wonder whether we have seen the film before, often we have.

Moving on, in my chaotic style, in the photo I am holding some watercress, I am not worried about getting Coronavirus because my homeopath is as good as the Queen and Prince Charle’s one, I am more worried about getting liver flukes from the watercress as I didn’t wash it.  I am notorious about forgetting to wash my veg. Hands yes, veg no.

Here is a poem I made into a song about my father’s Alzeimers.  It goes, la la la la la ,  B minor, 2/4 time.

Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s Dead

Where’s the dog?
The dog’s dead
Where’s the dog?
The dog’s dead
Where’s the dog?
The dog is dead

Oh yes, he was doing piddles on the kitchen floor
No Dad, he collapsed and couldn’t get up anymore

Where’s your mother?
My mother’s dead
Where’s your mother?
My mother’s dead
Where’s your mother?
My mother is dead

Oh yes, she’s next door making sure their cat is fed
No Dad, she died in a hosital bed

Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s Dead

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Tog
Tog
4 months ago

I love the irony in your chaotic typo. In fact I thought I’d discovered a new word. X

Last edited 4 months ago by Tog
Elizabeth Bentley
Elizabeth Bentley
4 months ago
Reply to  Tog

Have I made a spelling mistake ?! The more I write the more I think I’m dyslexic ?! X

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