I walk home from the walled city, trailing pushchair and tired children, skin kissed by the warm evening sun. We walk home. Home that holds you fast and tight, a home that lets you walk out to the tip of the rocks where water meets sky and not fall. Not trip. Home the way we eat, breath, dance, work, dress and clean. To be at ease, to be at home, to laugh out loud, to be at home; to feel real rightness in each and every neurone and all the bones of these frail bodies. Home. The bricks are built around me. Windows peek outside and let the changing light in. When I first lived abroad and was travelling on a boat I would play tricks with myself in the middle of the sea, was I going home, or leaving home? I would stand on the slippery deck of the ship dizzy for a sudden undecided moment. Home. Where I am, where I will be, where I was. Home. The feel of a child against my breast and the eyes of my lover that understand my dissaray.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
From here I hear you gurgling in your room. Singing in soft darkness, waiting for my arms to sweep you from your bed and wrap you in a warm, cotton embrace. You are snuggled in your sleeping bag, curled in comfort; a soft toy in your mouth, stains from some meal decorating your sweet, sweet face. You awaken smiling, a one-toothed grin accompanying your throaty, bubbling song. You are bliss and irregular smelly harmony. I am a lioness holding my china joy.
Saturday, 24 May 2008
Been a while since I've been here. A friend and colleague died last weekend in a car accident with his son. Death has swallowed me up. The funeral was a terrible day, suffocating us with silence as we failed to comprehend what had happened. Such grief. Church full of teenagers with tear-stained cheeks. The loss. The sun glaring down from a bright spring sky. The truth impossibly clear and blue.
Thursday, 8 May 2008
We run home in the hot rain, her little hand in mine. Thick, greasy drops fall on our clothes, meet pink skin and mingle with our hair. The sky is faded grey. I smell brown mud and yellow heat - baking. Perspiring earth. We run through the tourists, across the bridge, next to the swimming pool and along the winding promenade. The rain is heavier now, warm and steamy. Our clothes are dappled with fat dark spots. We laugh and dodge the oncoming gaggles of umbrellas, skip in puddles and finally reach the steps up to our road. We skid across the shiny black tarmac, up the steps and open the old wooden door. We fall into the flat dripping giggles.
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Today a writing day at home. I reread the work-in-progress and then venture out in the brilliant May heat to do some research. The beach is scattered with bikinis. My feet pound hot concrete, my head buzzes with ideas about characters, destinations, meaning and time. I imagine my characters, reach out to feel inside their skin. It ripples. I sit in the cold, calm of the study room in the library and ponder over the history of this town, of these 'corsaires', official pirates who pillaged boats with autorisation in exchange for a share of the 'booty', split three ways between my town, the King and the captain and crew. I turn pages and then hit the streets a second time, drink a creamy latté and dodge the tourists crowd, their eyes glued to shop windows, feet dragging. Today a day alone, all alone. Me, myself and I and the May sun and my keyboard and the words spilling out, flowing; a mini world in creation.
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
Ill again, and grumpy. Mal dans ma peau, as the French say, uncomfortable in my skin. I read a dissertation I am supervising. The subject is work with the elderly, the author distinguishes between growing old and getting ill, aging is not a sickness. Time is an unpathological symptom of life. Yet aging can carry loneliness and pain, displaced in time and space, bereaved of meaning and place we forget the whereabouts of our elan vitale. People in institutions often lose their way, mislay the spark that keeps the light bright white and a twinkle in the eyes. Today, after working, I went to the park and sat amongst the green trees and the spring sun and the running laughing children. On the sofa my loved one says to me, 'remember life is sweet' .
Sunday, 4 May 2008
Yesterday the sun was hot and we lingered on the beach in the unexpected stifling heat. I hid with my baby in the shade of a parasol. Today was a tired sick day. I slept in musty silence as time drifted around me, the sounds of my living house stifled by my bed clothes . My bones ached, my throat hurt. I am rarely ill and my body surprised me by it's need for sleep. Three naps and I was still exhausted. Today I didn't leave the appartement but managed to shift ugly piles of laundry that had cluttered up our home. Cleaning clothes a thankless task that slides into infinity. Today I cannot think clearly, but can drink fresh vegetable and quinoa soup and eat white cheese sandwiches. Tomorrow I am working at the hospital, so now I must go to bed.