My daughters are in the bath. I listen to them counting, splashing, giggling, fighting over plastic toys. Today, I've redrafted pages of my book, picked up toys, dipped chips in ketchup and looked in Thesaurus to find synonyms for 'orange', I found words such as apricot and flame. I've read articles about strikes and talked about petrol shortage with friends and passersby. I've watched videos of almost riots and wondered at the French capacity to say 'No'. I've heard about cuts in the UK, about losing jobs and I've made cheese and marmite on toast. I've carried a trombone and comforted a tired man and listened to tales of survival. I've been tired, chirpy, giddy, silly, inspired and now I'm at the end of my day. I can hear my daughters talking about farts and tickling in the bath. That is the end of my day.
Monday, 18 October 2010
Today, I sorted through their clothes: pink T-shirts, odd white socks and third-hand cotton dresses decorated with green umbrellas. I unrolled blue plastic bags and put things aside for one child and packed another for a friend. We found new second-hand dresses. Treasures put aside for a rainy day; despite the fact that it was sunny. I folded a tiny floral blouse, bedecked with little red roses, into a neat square and wondered whether I would hold another baby in my arms, need miniature trousers and 1 month old tights. I sighed with my seven year old as we tried to hold on to all of our favourite things, our arms too small for the weight of everything. " But, I want to keep it Mummy" my seven year-old said. I explained that we couldn't keep all our old clothes because there wasn't enough space on the earth. We had to learn to share and to say 'goodbye'. I was understanding, harsh, slow and fast; the odd mixture of the mother that I am.
Monday, 4 October 2010
The hand is the extremity of the arm below the wrist, the forefoot of a quadruped and the division of a bunch of bananas. Since I awoke, three hours ago, my hands have made Chung Mee green tea, wiped poo from bottoms, typed on a keyboard, spread blackberry jam on fresh baguette, clutched cereal packets, pulled up trousers, held hairbrushes, removed knots, closed zips, opened doors, pushed in keys and cupped tenderly a fist full of tiny fingers. This morning my hands have touched money, bread, cup handles, autumn leaves, canteen electronic cards, paper, books, keyboards, skin and water. I washed my hands with Neem soap, in a soft, lavish white lather. I plunged them in warm liquid to rinse off the froth. My hands come from my paternal grandmother, they are small, supple and like to gesticulate, to tell a story. In my hospital work, I often touch clients and staff, meeting people through my hands. Today, the tips of my fingers will be feeling keys all day, perhaps caress a pumpkin and flick a thousand paper pages. My twenty-six bones will be co-ordinating with my brain to make fiction, to forge a metaphor. My hands will finish the day under my duvet, clenched in fists, thumbs hidden inside my four fingers, sleeping tight. Where are your hands going today? Our bodies are the reflection of our lives.
La main by Lasuza, 1999