There is a Romanian expression: ‘Să luăm o pauză și să ne reculegem.’ Translation: ‘Let’s take a break and gather our thoughts or our forces or our strength.’ There is a similar word in French: ‘recueillir’, and we could potentially say it’s equivalent to ‘recollect’ in English. But it means a lot more than just remembering: it has nuances of ‘meditation’, ‘keeping a minute’s silence’, ‘recovering your equilibrium after an emotional upset’ and so much more.
So why am I launching into this lengthy etymological explanation? I suppose it’s my way of saying that I need a break as my personal life gets more complicated and unpleasant. Previously, I was able to find refuge in reading and writing when things got tough (summer of 2014 – bet you didn’t even notice at the time that things had gone awry). But as things drag on and on even longer than the Brexit negotiations, and with an equally impossible outcome, I need all my strength to cope with the turmoil. I’m finding it very difficult to write reviews or poetry or anything that is not an angry rant.
In other words, it’s time to press the ‘Pause’ button.