Between the Bricks

Meanderings of a grown up girl

Life in between

There was a little girl on the bus this morning, about five years old, chattering away, singing Incy Wincy Spider to her mum. Her mind wandering here and there as children’s thoughts often do, speaking random thoughts out loud; the innocence of childhood. I felt how wonderful it must be to have a child to love – to have the love of a child.  And the tears came.

I glanced out of the window and saw an old man sitting at a bus stop. Saggy wrinkled skin. Dry skin. He too was muttering away; a different kind of chatter. No one was listening. No one paid him any attention.

A little girl with so much to come, a future, so much to learn and understand and yet no sense of what that is. An old man with nearly everything behind him, decades of memories, the future winding down – and every sense of what that means.

Two different ends of life’s spectrum. And the tears came.

The tears come…the tears come…

When you are weary…

When you are weary and every muscle in your body begs you to be still; when every bone of your limbs reverberates with the deepest and dullest ache imaginable; when your nerves pulse uncontrollably sending messages of anxiety and pain to your crumpled soul; when the purple cloak of certainty falls from your shoulders and the exhaustion you feel leaves every cell in your body utterly bewildered – remember. At that moment remember you are alive!

And as you lift up your face to meet the sun’s warm and nurturing gaze, remember also to tell yourself, “I AM AMAZING!”

Shut out the longing

Why do you weep at life? Your hair is thick and your skin is smooth and you know the meaning of a smile! Why do you sigh when you wake each morning? When you open your eyes, you are witness to the greatest gift of all – the light of a brand new day. Your gratitude is the only fare you need to pay as the second hand ticks away. Tick, thank you! Tock, thank you! All else is superfluous. Go on! Step down lightly, raise your face to the sun and smile. You’re very good at that – smiling. If you have no other skill to offer, that’s ok. There is nothing to lament.

Why do you grieve? Why do you scream with anger and frustration within? Alice is nearly 110 years old but you’ll never hear her complain.  Alice experienced the abomination of abominations yet has never lived with anything other than hope, joy, respect and love. Always love. Everything is beauty in the eyes of Alice and everything perfection in her hands. Can you not see the same?

I know that when you lay down your head and breath becomes more laboured it’s because your heart aches and your womb succumbs to the emptiness it carries. But you cannot fill the void with tears and memories of what you will never know.  Those souvenirs are for others, not for you. You need not fear the longing but do not allow it to drown you, for it will try!  Welcome it with a smile, naturally, then politely send it on it’s way – and close the door.

Let’s Play Ball!

I’m floating in the ether. I have no idea where I’m going. I can barely see. The air is a greyish violet with touches of purple dust from time to time, otherwise, mere whispers of looming shadows and something so much bigger than I am. Shapes shift towards me. I can’t make out what they are. Maybe trees or hills, the occasional building, a mountain – what are they all doing in space? Maybe I’m not in space at all! Maybe it’s all just a dream. In any case, isn’t that what ether is – nothing matter? The matter of nothing. Mmh, what does that make me? A matter of fact? I don’t think so. I’m as void as everything else around me. No walls either side. No ground beneath my feet. Not even an ending of something above my head…infinity spreads, forever! How do I stop myself falling over the edge? The edge of what? How can you fall over the edge of nothing? Then myself – how do I avoid tripping over myself? 

Girl, that’s a whole different ball game!

Don’t Ask!

Don’t ask me what I can’t tell you! I can’t tell you what I don’t feel. I can’t feel what I don’t know. Don’t ask me to explain! It makes my head spin. I don’t want to think. I want to be blank. You don’t have to understand. I hardly understand myself!  But what does that matter? I just have to feel. Only when I feel do I know. Only then can I tell you.

This heart beats….and I don’t know what comes next!

 

Send me some words / I’ll send them ‘write’ back

Hello again my friend, the moon of tides and many seasons, who watches over me with shimmering light that bathes a delicate reflection upon the surface of a water hot and soothing, gently bubbling, enveloping, enriching, enlightening as I allow myself to sink, deep and heavy, just far enough, into the pitch black abyss of a sleeping world. A restful night of peaceful slumber awaits, though only when I choose not to think that I am now alone, for truth and love and you remind me that I am not. You too have your companions; you are not the only light that brightens the silky canopy of darkness. I have my friend and you have yours: a lone star that seeks to sneak between your world and mine. It cannot of course, but I honour its endeavour with a smile, gladdened by the knowledge that it is the brightest of them all – and the most precious.

And as the night recedes and I with it into sleep, that is the moment to rest; to rest until the dawn opens her eyes and faint outlines become whole again. Until then, my soul will wander, detached and free, unburdened, unclothed – for only when I am naked, am I truly pure.

The Hands of Woman

Long and slender
Symbols of perfection,
Elegance manifested with manicures of the French variety,
Or neon gels
And bling that teeters impossibly on tips of fingers.
Zany, gaudy designs all,
A little dash of sparkle here and there.
For others a natural sheen,
A mere touch or sprinkle of glamour,
Not wishing to appear too frivolous.

Chubby digits – just as perfect!
Childlike,
A clumsy grapple behind the ear.

Others large, attractive, with masculine span,
Not so unrefined! Bony knuckles protrude nonetheless.
Fingers broad and palm broader,
Square in shape, firm and strong,
Reliable and calming,
Ultimately practical,
Enabling others to feel safe,
Even if tentative at times, unsure of sex appeal,
Though playing with hair takes place coquettishly enough.

And these? Petite, oh so petite!
Soft and fragile, seeking protection,
Crying out to be grasped firmly, follow my leader,
No decisions to make.

See here dark and calloused skin,
Most beautiful,
Revealing toil and struggle,
Cooking, cleaning, tending of one day followed
By another and another.
Endless exasperation,
Hopeless resignation that must be borne.
Rough, scratched and sore,
Tired,
A chance to rest only when ceaseless demands cease.

And what of the beginning,
When those gender present hormones have yet to hatch?
When still the tiny delicateness of femininity captured in minuscule nails,
Pure and innocent,
Provides no concept of place,
Of prison, or palace or power yet to come?
Curling lightly,
Clinging when offered something safe to grip,
The aching, swollen limbs of twilight so far away.
She does not know that with one blink,
Just one blink and soon it will appear.

And there she is, waiting to be called,
Skin, a little gnarled in places, as thin as rice paper,
Mottled brown with age in spots,
And veins apparent.
Still nimble if demanded, yet
Unsteady, shaky,
The frustration of losing control,
Less firm of grip no matter how determined of soul.

No more need to orchestrate the keys of words or music,
To knead the bread of life,
Or pluck sweet roses that caused surprising pain from time to time.

No more braids to plait,
No more ribbons to tie,
No more hair to stroke,
No more tears to wipe,
No more snot to clean or brows to smooth,
No more shoulder to calm or back to gently rub,
No more fruit to pick from shelf or tree,
No more needles to click or pin to point,
No more cup to hold nor pen,
No more innocent to cradle or beloved to caress,
No more pot to carry,
No more burden to drag or lift or hold,
Nothing more to touch, to feel or sense,
Nothing more, save endless sleep,
As weary hands of woman – stop.

And finally, lay down to rest.

For International Women’s Day – a belated offering

Woman – how is it possible to describe you? Who are you? What are you? Real or imagined – how can we truly know you? It’s written you come from Venus. It’s recorded that you beguiled the gods themselves with cunning. You are blamed for the corruption of man yet worshipped for the birth of a prophet. You bear the pain of humanity from your womb. You are raped, devilled and slaughtered from fear. You are honoured for your courage, your grace, your tenacity. You are the joy that keep dreams afloat. Princes have raged wars over your beauty and entire nations have wept at your demise. Yours are the lips that whisper the truth. You are the rock and the feather. You linger on the surface of what is and yet, you hold the beating heart of man’s very existence in your hands…

 

Farewell myself

Soon I will go on a journey. I will depart with nothing. I will take nothing with me, even myself. I will leave with no knowledge of anything, except the knowing that I am empty, open, ready – ready to receive, to learn, to heal, to change.

It’s time…

We tear you down

Again I walk through the Botanical Gardens and again I feel what it is to be alive. Giants of trees and palm leaves as big as elephant ears, plants that cannot move and yet, though rooted to the spot, never stand still; teaching us how to grow, how to be strong and powerful while at the same time exquisitely beautiful and unassumingly compassionate. Why, oh great arboreal guardians, do you never let us down, when we hardly know you yet continue to abuse you, chop you and uproot you? We tear you down. We tear you down! We are undeserving beasts of such extraordinary gifts.

I meander slowly, attempting a modicum of awareness, seeking out the winding paths, lightly touching overhanging roots with my fingertips, breathing in the sweet aroma of pure white petals, savouring myriad types of green. And yes I feel them, I cannot avoid, I feel them. I close my eyes and ears to feel your beating heart and pulsing veins. Believe me my friends I do feel them.

I love this place but I cannot stay forever and now I must leave.

What’s that you say? Stay a while and…well ok, why not? Yes, let’s dance!