Categories
Life

This Sack Of Potatoes

It’s a beautiful memory.

Six-year-old me. Bundled in a blanket. Mum hoisting me into the air, swinging round and about and back again.

‘This sack of potatoes is SO HEAVY!’, she jollied, as she wobbled me up the porch steps and into Nan and Pops arms for the evening. She was a young, single woman. I suppose she must have been going out on the town.

That moment. It was thirty-one years ago, but actually— in my heart and in my mind, it’s now. I see it—and feel it— clearly. Dreams live on the same street as memories: sleeping dreams, and dreams for a brighter day. Books and the characters to whom they introduce us: they live in the magical, beautiful blackness, too.

Now.

That’s where they live, I think.

Home.

And bloggy friends? One day, I will call us (and this bloggy land of ours) a beautiful, beautiful memory.

But in the twinkling dust of eternity—we will always be now.

And we will always be able to find each other at home.

My goodness.

To me, that is just one of the loveliest, lovely things.

photo of woman taking notes
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Categories
Life

The Memory (trigger warning: some mildly graphic content)

The memory was of a young girl me, walking home from school with my Mum. We’d taken a detour to the supermarket. The familiar supermarket— that was very much like my second home—felt odd. There was a heaviness in the air. A darkness. And that’s when we noticed the white chalk outline on the pavement out the front. A human body had laid there only an hour or two earlier, and it hadn’t been alive.

I won’t go into details about the conversation that was had between me and my Mum because, honestly, I can’t remember. All I know is that when the memory came up for me the other day: I was there in that street again. Little girl me, feeling the violence of the scene within my body. At the time, as I stood observing the chalk outline (in an otherwise ordinary, empty street) it had felt as though I was within the violent scene, watching it all unfold. It felt like hatred. It felt like fear. It felt like confusion. It felt like murder— and that’s where I’ll stop with the details.

It’s the way I experienced it all as a feeling that has me fairly well flabbergasted, and tends to explain why it feels like my sensitivities have been ‘muted’ for a great deal of my life. Because to feel to the degree that my body was clearly capable…little girl me obviously had quite the time digesting the harsh realities of the world. No wonder my protective mechanisms chose to shut it all down, to a degree.

That day, I felt the heavy ache in the air. I felt the violence that took place out the front of the supermarket, I even ‘saw’ it on the blank screen of my mind, even though the violence was long over with by the time we had arrived on the scene. How could my Mother have possibly made all that big stuff feel better for me when she had no idea what was going on inside of her little girl. All she knew was that the questions started firing (and let me tell you, they fired. For hours after, they fired.)

There is no point to this post. Only to say that I think I’ve found another healing breadcrumb which has opened up an even more miraculous can of worms for me to work my way through.

I also want to take this opportunity to encourage you all to be gentle with your own yucky memories as they arise. And to tell you I’m here, guys. And I see you. And I really do think they’re all better out than in.

So much mushy (we’ve totally got this) love. xx Brooke

girl standing on grass field facing trees
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Categories
Music

The Voice

We are like two dots on a musical theatre map of the world. And every time I fall into a moment where it’s just him and me, and all the musical love hearts…I just can’t help but feel changed.

Allow me to explain.

For so many of my girl hours, I lay like a starfish on my Nan and Pop’s shagpile carpet, blissing out under giant headphones that came to feel more like home to me than the daggy relic they really were. Even after twenty or so years, I can feel the softness of the black leather on my ears (and isn’t that so completely amazing?)

Anyway. The girl. The music. I listened to whatever C.D I could find behind the glass doors of that triple decker sound system. It was like I’d come to crave music, as though every day it called to me, promised me that sunshiny feeling that only music can bring. And of course, I said: Yes. Let’s do this.

Every time I laid myself down in front of that sound system it seemed like the universe was whispering to me, like it was answering all the questions my young girl heart had not yet thought to ask of it. And actually, when music was happening to me there was no need to ask anything. In fact, there was no need to even think.

So, I didn’t think. I just listened and I felt.

One album in particular stirred up my inner butterflies, scattering them off to every corner of the room and back again, without fail. That album was: The original 1985 London Cast recording of Les Miserable. To this day, that album—and that show— takes my breath away.

And now we return to the reason for this post. The man. The voice. The moment that speeds up my butterflies and connects me to another human in a way that is so profound it has me shaking my head in wonderment whenever I think of it.

Because the thing is, this. There is a voice on that album—the voice of a man, who has such a minor part in the show I don’t even know how I found him. I don’t know his name, he doesn’t know mine. I don’t know his smile, he doesn’t know mine. All I know is that for two bars of the song ‘Red and Black’, a man sings. And I close my eyes. And I hold my breath.

I mean, it’s really quite amazing, don’t you think? There is a man out there—a singer and actor, whose identity remains a mystery to me—who will never know that there is a girl in this world who melts inside every single time she hears his voice.

Isn’t-that-epic? Isn’t that the stuff that makes hairs stand on end?

Life, huh. It really is all about the human connection.

Even the connections we don’t know exist.

person woman music pink