It is icy. The thickness of the glass around the snow globe varies from so solid a bullet would barely crack the outer surface to fragile but frosted. The stillness is the kind that raises the hairs on the back of my neck, the kind that leaves one afraid to look around for fear of what might be seen. It is irrational. Whatever is lurking out of sight is there whether we look at or not, but it is as though as far as the mind is concerned, seeing it makes it real. Around me the ice crystals in the crevices of the trees crackle. The trees themselves stand, motionless containers for that agitated energy.
I have not been still. I have work a rut in the frozen ground with my hurried steps forwards and hasty retreats. I have ground smooth circles where I’ve spun on the spot uncertain of my direction. There is a pile of bricks and timbers, that will become the foundation of my library. They have gone from being untouched to being tossed in one direction and then another over the past couple of weeks. The air inside my snow globe might hang still, but I no longer can. I feel overwhelmed. That sense of being on the brink of a precipice, of there being a monster lurking just out of sight is growing stronger. The monster knows I’m aware of it now, if I wait for too long I will be devoured. Yet if I move too fast, I will lose my footing and plunge over the edge of the precipice.
What I need is to find that unfamiliar notion of a middle ground. While I have learned to compromise with other people, the idea of doing so with my own mind is as alien as ever. I am too impatient to take the longer route around when running straight forwards brings more immediate results. It seems not to matter how many times I slip and fall back, I still chose to run rather than pace myself, be consistent and reach the point I’m aiming for. At present the monster and the precipice relate to food. I restrict, I shrink. I eat, but to eat means to binge, so I grow, even if only slightly by other people’s eyes, it is huge to me. So it goes on, the path sloping vaguely downwards, but with repeated trips back up, so that the same stretch is transverse four, five, six times before being conquered. In the week I am starving and exhausted, but I can hold my own gaze in the mirror. At the weekends, when I binge, I am miserable and ashamed.
There is a middle way. As a new day and a new month dawn, I will try to accept fear that I will shrink no further and instead of flipping the switch to the other extreme, I will move slowly. I can eat more in the week than I have been. I can eat less at the weekends. I can find a balance and for now, just for now, while I wait for better guidance, I can focus on that alone and not worry over whether I am growing or shrinking.