Categories
Writing

Super Mum

She hides in the bathroom and cries.

She places her palms over her ears and breathes into her belly. ‘Don’t wish it away. Such a precious age,’ she’s heard it a million times. She smiles politely. Tells them, silently, they’ve forgotten. Blocked out the bad times, remembered only the good.

She wants to say to them that every coin has two sides; every story, multiple themes running at once. And love. Even the love of a parent has two sides, always. When it’s easy, and when it’s hard.

Bathroom days are hard.

She counts the hairs stuck to the bathroom tiles. She won’t have time to pick them up, piece by scraggily piece. Too busy being an excellent mother, not wishing too loud for peace and quiet to find her once again.

She belongs in the bathroom.

They belong in fresh-white homes, lovingly tending to their overgrown toenails.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Categories
Writing

The Subtle Art of Patience

It’s odd, the way my novel is writing itself. I write in short bursts, for what reason, I couldn’t tell you.

I develop a beautiful flow, find a sweet new piece of the puzzle to slot into place. Then, the door closes. I do not know why it’s working this way, but I’m learning to trust that this is the way this novel wishes to be born.

I am resisting a little.

A big part of me gets cross. Just keep writing. Now. Today, this minute: push through the stop sign and write some more.

But I can’t.

I write in short sharp bursts.

The story comes in short sharp bursts.

It’s a lesson in waiting.

It’s a lesson in the subtle art of patience.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com

Categories
Life

Goodbye

No one would have seen it coming, least of all me. His death was inevitable: that part we all knew was coming.

But no one would have foreseen my reaction to it. Not the way it happened, not the way the emotional slideshow of me slowly played out like a blocked garden-hose building in pressure, waiting for the almighty explosion that eventually would come.

My Dad told me: ‘Aaron’s died.’ We were on our way home from our shared workplace, an hour and ten minute drive from the city to the country, where we lived. He did a good job, my Dad. Quiet. Calm. Matter of fact, but caring. My Aunty was the one that received the news. He’d been ill, which on top of the cystic fibrosis had finally proven too much for his already fragile body to handle. Someone should tell Brooke.

I’m not sure why Dad chose an hour long car ride to do it. Perhaps he and Mum felt it would allow me time to let it wash over me, I’m really not sure what they had expected. But one thing I do imagine they expected were tears.

There were none.

Not a single one.

When he’d broken up with me, I’d constructed a wall about a million miles high, and equally as wide to protect me from both the feeling of being rejected without proper means, and the feeling of loss I’d surely feel in the face of losing him. We both still cared for each other very much. Very much. Though, for family reasons that are a little too personal to share, here, he felt it best he protect his final years as best he could. By saying goodbye to me. I understood. Still, it hurt.

On New Years Eve (his very last one, as it would turn out) he called me at my Aunties house, where I’d escaped the boring walls of home for a much needed holiday. ‘Is Chookie there?’ he asked, to my Aunties amusement. I took the phone, smiled at my Aunty, and fell into our world, again. He’d missed me. I’d missed him, too. We laughed and chatted for a bit. Finally, we said goodbye.

A few months later, Aaron was gone. He was about twenty, from memory: I was eighteen. And I didn’t care at all that he was gone, and I absolutely would not be attending his funeral, so they could all just go on and forget about that, ridiculous nonsense.

The day of the funeral came. I got up, as usual, and made the long trip in with my Dad where I began my daily routine. Pick, pack, tape up the box. Pick, pack, tape up the box. I’m not sure what part of the work induced the explosion. Perhaps it was the ripping sound the tape makes when it whirls off the tape gun, or perhaps it was simply the fact that I was at work, in the first place. All anybody knew was that one moment I was fine. The next, I was wailing. Sobbing in the most out of control fashion I could muster.

My Dad took me to the train station. If I caught the early train, I should make it to the funeral on time, and so I boarded the V-Line back to the country and off I went to say my last goodbye to Aaron. Technically, not my Aaron, anymore. But, according to my heart…still very much, my Aaron, apparently.

The train ride was interesting. The poor lady across from me did her very best to pretend my dark sunglasses hid my tears (and quietened the accidental sob that sometimes escaped me. Meep.) The dusty town I arrived in was quiet, too. No one would notice as I wandered along the streets, searching for a church I’d never been to before, in a town I’d never been to before.

I wouldn’t ask for directions, either. More accurately, I couldn’t ask for directions, on account of me being that odd girl: too shy to talk to any human outside of her comfort zone. So I asked the universe for directions. My plan was (and this is no joke) to follow whichever direction my hair blew in the wind, because certainly whatever higher forces I was connected to would get me to the funeral. Bonus points if they got me there on time.

I walked. And walked. And walked.

Finally, and with no thanks at all to my hair, I found the church. A little late, but early enough. The funeral had just begun.

‘Chookie,’ Aaron’s beautiful Mum said, after the service, as she wrapped me in her arms, and thanked me for coming to say goodbye to her baby boy. She seemed happy to see me (really, really happy) and in that moment…I knew the explosion of me was meant to happen, that I was meant to be there. For Aaron, but for his beautiful family, too.

They may not have noticed my absence if I’d not gone: the church was overflowing with hundreds, all of whom, apparently, Aaron had touched with his cheekiness, joy and boundless wisdom, too.

But I was there. And his family did notice.

I was grateful.

Grateful the morning had brought about the most unexpected emotional explosion, ever to have rocked my world.

And grateful my inner walls had crumbled.

Right in the nick of time.

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

Categories
Poetry

Cookie

Wondering about that second cookie.

It exists, should I eat it?

If I eat it, it will still be all it was

before I gobbled it down.

New shape.

Different texture.

Same ingredients, same everything else.

Should I eat the cookie?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Maybe.

Categories
Poetry

To Escape

But if you only have eyes

for the way you think life

should

be,

then surely you are forgetting

to live.

To truly live.

As you are.

In this moment, this

version of life that you

so desperately wish

to escape.

Categories
Poetry

Sleep

If sleep could touch my cheek,

I would ask for her slender hand

a thousand times.

If sleep did fall upon me now,

I dare not wake.

No.

I dare…not…

Categories
Life

Deeply

I think about her, sometimes, when my heart turns to sun. Nan. Her heart used to shine like that, too, which is why I can’t help but think of her when I feel intense love radiating from my own chest. As an off shoot of the kind of love she gave to me (and, let’s face it, probably genetics) I am who I am. And I love, as deeply as I love.

We fluff our ways through life, bothering about the silliest of things: when really we should hold the beauty, longer. Feel the love of our loved ones, longer. Express our love to others, without fear: give them the beautiful gift of sun that Nan gave to me.

I often think of Nan, and when I do I wonder why I loved her so deeply, why I still feel her today just as beautifully as I did when she was here. I loved her because she loved me. I loved her because there was never a question when I felt her energy how much it meant to her that I was alive. What a gift to be given by someone. What a gift: to know that you have touched their life, that you have meant something to their moments.

I shine when I look at my children with the same kind of love my Nan did when she looked at me, and I can only hope the depth of that love sinks into them as deeply as it has me.

I’m waffling a bit today, and that’s okay. I’m in my love place. I’m in my world of grateful and I intend to make the most of it and spread Nan’s sunshine, while I’m here.

She would have loved that.

She would have loved that I’ve given her sweet sunshine to you.

Photo by Edu Carvalho on Pexels.com
Categories
Life

Elf

I just watched Lord of the rings, again;

I’m certain I’ve missed my calling as an Elf.

Twirling leaves, swaying, falling.

Flowing gowns, floating on air.

Softness.

Romance.

Light and trees.

I’m certain I’ve missed my calling as an Elf.

Oh well.

There’s always next time.

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com
Categories
Poetry

Clear Air

One day,

she sits alone,

and understands it all.

That she’s never been alone.

That all this time

their pain has lived within her,

pain she never asked for,

pain that is not hers to bear.

Clear air is what she knows she is,

not charcoal-grey squalls,

nor black-rimmed mud.

A heavy reality,

a scared, scared world

drowns her in the darkness

of humanity’s shadow.

Until she removes the soot

and clears the air

once again.

Categories
Poetry

My Own Peace

Some days,

I take a deep breath

and ask the world to soften.

The world never does soften.

So I fall behind its wind,

and I find my own

peace.