On the one hand the cliché of that title, on the other hand the article is off and running and you’re reading it (thank you, by the way).
On the one hand I will miss the friends I’ve made during the last 18 months when I’ve been reading aloud every week with people living with memory loss and dementia, and their carers. On the other hand, my contract has come to an end and I will stay in touch via emails and the occasional visit and think of the extra hours for my TBR pile and my unfinished poems.
On the one hand the guilt of leaving, on the other hand, 18 months on a 0.5 contract, six groups launched, ten volunteers recruited, one Public Health Award won, two new paid jobs for Wiltshire people created because the success of the project has justified its expansion.
On the one hand I am entering a period of not being in paid employment, on the other hand I have money in the bank, I like charity shops and simple living, and my kitchen table is long and inviting at 9am after my kids have left for school, with my notebooks piled next to my elbow, my Mitsubishi Uni-Ball Vision Elite pen poised to begin its journey down an empty page.
On the one hand I would love to book a weekend cottage in Liskeard, Cornwall and go to the Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival to see, among other poets, Sinéad Morrissey and Matthew Sweeney, on the other hand what a privilege to be loved enough by my teenage daughter for her to ask me not to be absent from her life, even for one weekend, while she’s in the middle of her GCSE exams.
On the one hand I have barely glanced at the free, online course Ten Premodern Poems by Women which I was so looking forward to, on the other hand I will soon have more time available and there is a whole universe of learning in simply reading books.
On the one hand blogging is a distraction from real writing, on the other hand there might be a poem seed in this very post.
On the one hand a second poetry pamphlet, or even a full collection, is waiting for me to write it, behind a closed door, quietly on a sofa, a pen and notebook on my lap, on the other hand I can hear the world laughing in lunchtime bars, cafés and restaurants.
On the one hand the guilt of never being available for the people I love the most, on the other hand the desire to write something fantastic before I die.
On the one hand I could spend my life writing on this page, on the other hand it will be continued on another day.