I’ve just sent some picture book manuscripts off to a literary agent. I feel a lot more confident in the process since having completed the picture book course last year, so that’s my next aim. To have one of my word babies published to a wider market.
I have such fond memories of childhood reading…publishing books for children would be an absolute honour. I love writing picture book texts. I find the challenge of condensing what could potentially be a long story into a short and lovely thing to be very rewarding.
Since uni, I’ve become a little addicted to the art of culling. Culling words, that is. For some reason, I find it extremely satisfying. Taking a clunky sentence and seeing how many words I can remove from it, in order to make it shine. You’d be surprised how many words can be culled without having a negative effect on the sentence. In fact, culling words often brings a sentence more power. Hence, the satisfaction.
I walk the streets listening to music that makes me cry.
I suppose I will do this until I have made peace with my past and become all that I am in this moment forever onwards, but for now, this is me: and me feels achingly beautiful. Like snow.
To walk the streets in this way, releasing newly risen anger and pain, is the gasp for breath I’ve needed to take for so long. Was I holding my breath, all those years? What did I do with anger and sadness before I learned to tie them in a ribbon of apricot sun?
I am no different to the one who reads this. Each of us travel through childhood gathering scars we will carry for the rest of our lives, or at least until we face them. I am facing mine, now.
I am feeling the anger and the pain.
I am also feeling a greater love than I’ve ever known.
For the sweet little girl I was, and still am in many ways.
For the beautiful people who loved me. How they nurtured my softness, how they pained to see it tarnished by the hardness of the world.
I miss the way my Nan dipped onto to her knees and told me how precious I was to her. With her entire body, especially her eyes.
I miss the way my Mum held me when I cried. I miss the feeling of our two aches melting into one, and somehow just knowing that was a beautiful, beautiful thing.
I’ve never missed the safe pieces of childhood before—at least not consciously, and I’d imagine it’s because most adults become adults and assume that the word adult means: ‘safe enough’ and ‘responsible enough’.
Well, I’m here to tell you…no.
I believe that adult means: whoever and whatever you are, when you are it.
And what I am right now, is aching for the child I once was, and the beautiful world of love that enveloped her during her younger years.
I ache to be emotionally held. Because that’s how it all began for me.
Of course I miss it.
I’ve learned to meditate and open my heart, and thank-goodness for that because it fills me with all the lovely things, including the beautiful feeling of being held in the way I so often feel I need to be.
Still, I miss the feeling of being emotionally held by another, without judgement.
I just do, I miss it.
And so I miss my childhood.
I also know it’s okay that I miss my childhood.
That part, I think, might be the beautiful silver lining of this grey story.
Who even knows what is going on with this July energy, but if you are diving deep into the guts of you, or kind of feeling a little bit like there is a thick layer of mud painted onto your skin, too…that would probably be because—drum roll— July-kind-of-sucks. Just today alone I have failed to even start anything I’ve set out to do, to the point where the day will be gone soon and I will still be wondering when it is going to start. (Disclaimer: this could also just be a ‘me’ thing, but I’m going to say it’s an everyone thing. It feels like it’s probably an everyone thing.)
Guys. I’m just here to say that it’s totally okay to eat all the doughnuts if July is, in fact, having its way with you, too. Go on— the sugary ones with jam inside are particularly awesome, as long as you don’t heat them up to the point of tongue burning. (Omg. Ouch.)
That reminds me of a fun story, and I reckon I need to tell it…if only to lighten us all up a bit. 🙂
It was when I was about eight, I’d say. I was an only child at this point, and my wonderful, fun-guy Step-Dad had taken me to Lunar Park (an amusement park) where we were plonked on a picnic bench, gobbling up hot jam doughnuts.
Everything was going well until he dropped the sugar bomb:
‘Right. Here’s a challenge. I dare you to eat an entire doughnut without licking the sugar off your lips.’
I could have died.
The way the story ended is kind of vague to me now. I’m pretty sure it ended with me meeting his challenge successfully but coming to the conclusion that, because of the amount of concentration needed to keep me from licking my lips…I didn’t enjoy the doughnut one little bit.
So, essentially, I won.
But I also lost. So mega big time.
And that was the day I realised I will never say no to that kind of sugary goodness ever again.
Happy July-ing, everyone. And happy weekend, too. xx
I’d like to tell you a story about that, actually. How my piano came to be my ultimate happy place (and healing tool, you might say.)
It’s in my soul, I think. Music. It’s the place I go to escape the world when it gets too noisy, and it’s absolutely the place I go when I need to re-make sense of the world around me.
I suppose you might say I had quite an explosive childhood— and when I say explosive, of course I’m being a bit dramatic (lol). All I mean by ‘explosive’ is that I was a highly sensitive child, and although the world was all sorts of fun and wonderful, my sensitivity sometimes got to me. When the teacher shouted at the kid in the next seat: it wasn’t the kid that felt the brunt of that rage. It was me. I felt it all.
Although I didn’t know it at the time, I needed an outlet, a way to remove the yuck of a world that somehow seemed so much bigger than me. I needed a night light. A safety blanket to catch the waves of emotion, especially the ones that didn’t belong to me.
I still remember asking Mum: ‘Please. Can I have piano lessons?’ to which the reply always came, ‘Brooke. We don’t have a piano.’ Of course, I knew that. But my heart felt like it was being called to. It felt like I just needed to play. I don’t really have the words to explain the pull of such a deep need, but it was there and it never went away until that one special day. My fourteenth birthday, I think. The day I got my first keyboard.
Well. I was beside myself. Here I was, surrounded by lashings of colourful paper, staring at the one thing I intuitively knew I needed. I quickly taught myself to play, which was really just me tinkering away until what I was playing became something that resembled a tune. Soon I was writing songs. When I wrote, I said all the things my heart needed to say, I just let it all go. Whatever wanted to come out. I let it be.
And it felt good. It felt like a wooshing tunnel of wind rushing through me, taking with it all the angry, the sad, the tension. When I played— when I wrote— a new part of me came to life. The right part of me.
The true part of me.
It’s not surprising to me, when I look back, that most of my songs were written when I was in my teenage years, a time of hormones and boys and tears. (Oh, gosh. All the tears.) Those years were a time of absolute truth. A time of boundless dreams, but also a time where the world really could have ended if I happened to be ‘spoken’ to by a teacher that really didn’t know that I was a crier.
When those things made my world explode: I escaped. Into my music, into the wave of beautiful that sang into my bones. And that’s just all sorts of magic to me. That still is all sorts of magic.
My first love. My piano.
Okay. 🙂 Well, that’s enough sop for day two, I suppose. I’ll see you tomorrow, then.