We are home again. Yesterday we drove through thick hot heat, burnt yellow by the sun, to reach our little city. We spent the week in Paris, our feet walking on pavements, grey concrete, splashing in dirty urban puddles and treading the edge of the elegant, forbidden green grass. We are back in our house. We spent the week looking at Renaissance statues, crossing golden bridges flung over chic rivers, admiring tall buildings and sighing at the sudden beauty of a hidden square. We are home. We told stories on the metro, rode on merry-go-rounds, ate daurade, saw the Mona Lisa who is, my daughter told me ' Happy because she was born first', we drank bitter black coffee and tried on pink shoes and were proud to be ' fit as pellypots'. The two girls slept as we walked through Paris on the last day, side by side. Happiness was with us, strolling in the sun, wearing a purple hat and eating falafel doused in chili sauce. We are home now and we remember.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
It is a joy to come back to your arms at the end of the day. I have been caring for the mysteries of troubled minds, singing lullabies with patients as we hold hands. It is an unsung pleasure to return to this living home. Enveloped in hot tea, sipping crocheted blankets; laughter is written on these four walls. Grey granite keeps the heat inside.
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
I am tired. Sleepy. Exhausted. Deprived. Thoughts get stuck in heavy mounds of laundry, old black socks and Barbie pants are clogging up my brain. I spent an endless night in the warmth of female talking, another tending to a teething baby. Today my brain aches. The sky is shocking blue but not quite warm enough to take off winter coats. Wear a little wool, my neighbour mutters in my ear. I drift from room to action to kitchen to speaking to cooking to shops to feeding to trying to understand the words falling from my friend's lips while we drink coffee in the purple bar, talk of hair and try to calm a gaggle of wriggling girls.
Thursday, 3 April 2008
He stands with his suitcase looking out at the boats. His eyes glance over the marina, the yachts, the ferry, the lighthouse, the old walled city. A tourist, a visitor, his luggage sat by his feet, overlooking this town of dreams. The seaside. The port. The history brushed neat and tidy, power, blood, abuse and guts, packaged in pretty boxes to be sold to five million people trapsing these streets seeking the moment where love, pleasure and happiness collide. Children stick spades into the sand as parents rub cream on freckled shoulders. Sticky fingers hold metal rails, lads swill beer, water meets skin where battles were fought. The comfortable slide on limpid water in yachts with bunks and sip white wine. Russian sailors, white-skinned, blue-eyed, crew rust rotten tankers and dream of home. The drone of the little train filled with fat tourists, their hot skin sticking to fake leather seats. The grey granite walls have heard these stories a hundred, thousand, million, trillion times.
When we walked back from the park yesterday, I saw them. Spring had come, they had opened their window. They stand, side by side, shoulders touching, staring out at the road. Outside. Their tall broad bodies occupy in between space. A man and a woman with uniform oak carved faces, identical short white clippered hair. Regal nose's like eagles beaks top thin mouths that do not smile easily. When the weather is warm they stand here everyday, looking at the world. Cars driving, feet on pavement, push chairs rolling, bicycles, people. Few words are exchanged between them, shoulders brush shoulders. Soft and steely. I have never seen the inside of their home. They stand framed by the window, archaic, monumental, timeless. Male, female, dressed anonymously in sweatshirts, wide trousers that can be exchanged. They are standing guard, watching, waiting, filling time and space.