Night time is inky blue and smells sweet and old like unwashed sweaters. I long to roll myself in stars and drift into the sky. In this darkness sounds are amplified. Floors creak with monsters footsteps and I drink the roughness of the blankets edge. But I am safe inside my boat bed travelling through the stormy seas. I wrap myself in the infinity of my duvet. I snuggle and I cuddle and I curl and whirl and toss and turn. My bed is an ocean. I am swimming in my dreams.
Thursday, 21 February 2008
On Saturday we will be leaving. We will take our bags and hurry to the aeroport for a plane. We will stand in dreary, endless queues where people frown and count the time which ticks upon their skin. I hope you will not cry. We will be beeped, checked, stamped and moved. In the middle of the sky we will not know if we are going home or leaving home. We are people of divided loyalties, of no-mans land. We've lived too long away to belong here or there. We love to travel and we relish the lost little town that we will visit in 2 days. We will roll through English countryside and catch our dreams in homemade jams and nostalgia traps in which we fall with glee.
Today I was told a dream about an egg, a male uterus, a machine and a birth. An extraordinary dream imparted with a smile. Today I decided with someone else that our objective for the year would be to put life into dead songs. These are tiny moments like miracles. Exquisite little frozen snowdrop heads, too precious to touch, too fragile to travel too far. I stand next to these memories and breathe. I inhale and exhale softly so as not disturb their delicate petals. Some thoughts must be wrapped in cotton wool and carried around with care. We are lucky to be given such moments.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
In the afternoon, I packed my bag. I folded tiny white baby clothes and bigger girl's jeans and then added my own black T-shirts, pyjamas, socks and woollen tights. I was preparing for the shape of things to come. Minds slipping forward in time, imagining the future and how we will sit in that world. When I was younger I used to carry little china ornaments in my bag, an old photo, a soft scarf. To make myself at home. When I arrive in a hotel room, friend's or family's home I settle myself into the environment, the totality of surrounding conditions. I enter the sphere.
Friday, 15 February 2008
It's dark outside. A cold, crisp black, edged with inky blue. Friday night and I can hear the purring of the cars. A Friday night when we have eaten chips and eggs and beans and sausages. Voices echo in the street, turning up the collars of their coats against the icy wind which chills their blood and coats their bones with frosty skin. "Suicide is a serious thing" he told us yesterday. Lowered his voice, paused and scanned the group with hazel eyes, "attempting is only ever serious". Silence. Each of us dwelling upon unhappiness, sweet fairy tales and the unthinkable, mixing pictures in our minds. Morbid morning staff meetings over tarry coffee. Thick and brown and over-stewed. In my friends bathroom cupboard there used to be a post-it saying 'all dark places don't need light'. The bells are ringing on this Friday night. Inside bricks and concrete buildings all around this town are lonely people. Desolation sat in empty flats with dinner done and nothing else to do. Friday night when the bottle calls and only alcohol can fill the empty cold. Friday night when sadness seeps in through the window, under carpets, steathily invading every corner; suffocating, damp and never-ending. Friday night will be here for an eternity of hours and then tomorrow will be, will be morning.
Thursday, 14 February 2008
The morning can be harsh and cruel, wrenching us from warm hands into the light of day. But this morning I go slow, quietly. I hear the groan of the dustbin monster and the shriek of the circling gulls. I sip my green tea, which is at perfect drinking temperature. I cannot stay for long, cannot linger writing. The world is calling, pulling me from this hazy moment into action. I must, I have to, I am obliged to do a million unnecessary wonders. The chores of a lifetime are laid out before me, waiting to catch me with their seemingly soft but steely teeth.
Perhaps I should hide, evacuate from life into the hall cupboard and live amongst the shoe polish, lace doilies and old bottles of swimming shampoo. I see the clock is ticking, I gulp my green tea and I stand, ready for doing.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
The sun was shining and the sky so blue it could crack. We walked along the street and when you held my hand my heart lifted. Our feet hit the grey pavement at a steady pace and we talked of many things including names. Right now I have to stop writing as my attentions are required elsewhere. Be well and dream of sweet things tonight, heat, frost and maple syrup dripping on a golden crepe.
The rage was white and hot, blinkered like a race-horse but wild as a tormented bull. It was powerful. It came and left so suddenly that for a while after the world was slightly askew. It left her with a feeling of shame and disorientation, her body still tainted by it's presence. After, she prepared lunch and listened to the story of the little red hen. It was better.
Monday, 11 February 2008
Drove home from work today feeling raw and unbrushed. There are moments when it's like your skin is turned inside out and I can feel the red rushing to my cheeks. The discomfort was thick and heavy in the room like treacle stuck in hair. Soft, too sweet and irritable. I breath in deep and try to reposition myself and the group, take us to another space and time. We sigh, smile, recuperate. On the drive home the sky is blue, the sun is shining and I listen to the radio.
Thursday, 7 February 2008
Today I have sewn a tapestry. Stuck a needle into fabric and pulled through coloured threads - pale buttermilk yellow, white and cream. Colours that I do not like. In and out, over and under, stitches in time, marking the seconds, ploughing through skin. Today I have sewn and relished the sensation of a last stitch completing a section and feeling the sensation of fingers against rough surfaces lined with furrows. Now I will put myself to bed and dream of tapestries, sewn in circumstantial yellow.
It's five am in Amsterdam and this is how I know.....
This morning when I was walking home we saw a tiny dead bird on the road. Soft ruffled feathers and a sharp little beak with legs like splintered matches. There was fog in the air and grey clouds of mist hung around the church spire. Our breath blew white air shadows. I didn't want to leave that bird alone and dead on a street corner. But I had nowhere to take it. A momentary desire without a home.
In my appartment I will now make coffee and eat brioche with jam made with blueberries from Finistere ( the end of the earth). I will listen to the sound of the washing machine, and bury that little bird.
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
In my dream we had placed the library on the hill. A beautiful thing. A square block of books on white laminated shelves with a space inside to sit and read surrounded by lush, green countryside. We examine the books, I discover volumes that I had forgotten I owned. One beautiful handmade artists book with oriental silk lined pages in mustard yellow, bordeaux and marine blue. We go inside our house which is near the library and suddenly it starts to rain. It is a violent lashing downpour, fed by a gusting wind. The books are exposed to the elements. We rush out and decide to fetch the car to save the books from the water. A library on the hill - a curious thing.
Tuesday, 5 February 2008
Nightfall and the babes are sleeping. Sweet dreamtime that smells of burnt sugar and urine. Tucked safe in their beds their bodies are abandoned to slumber. Dark lashes fall on pale velvety skin. These watchful moments are whole and enveloping. As night falls mother-love tenses the muscles of my heart.
Saturday, 2 February 2008
The underground train is crowded and dirty. People sitting down, standing up, wedged in corners, tired bodies squashed one against another. As the carriage lurches from side to side, hands clutch straps and muscles strain to keep a sense of balance. Each person carries their crystal sphere; round glass balls which release a light like glow-worms,angels or fairies. The spheres are delicate fragile things, tender as snowdrops with a soul of steel. A young man in a pin stripped suit nervously tosses his globe from palm to palm, his sweat leaving sticky imprints on the surface. The young woman in the corner has attached her sphere to a cord and it dangles from her hand, wound with string, spinning down and reeling up as she flicks her wrist. Next to her the smart old lady has crammed the sphere into her red leather bag and she glances at the neighbours' with envy. There are broken spheres, chipped and cracked, old spheres and new, there are tiny one's slipped into pockets and huge globes attached to backs, some have been repaired though the pieces are jammed leaving sharp edges. They are cherished, ignored, desired, hated, misunderstood, devine and lowly. As the carriage jolts a man drops his sphere and it breaks. His face turns white, he stumbles and looks ready to fall, but no-one in the carriage offers help and some seconds later he picks up the two pieces, tears blinding his eyes, and places them in a carrier bag. The train speeds on, gently shaking it's passengers through the darkness of the tunnel.