Monday, 21 February 2011

Preparing for the forest

I like to prepare for the forest. To prepare is to make ready beforehead for a specific purpose. I like to prepare for the forest. I enjoy the beforehead as much as the journey and the holiday; it is the leading-up to, the equiping and the planning, the composing and constructing of an expedition. I have always enjoyed packing. Transitions; the pieces inbetween. The packing is the warm-up, the laying of the table, the awakening of a dream. I fold small trousers, bend tiny socks and roll tights into balls. I place clothes in suitcase corners as I dream of trees. I put together the ingredients for miso soup and special breakfast porridge. As I drink green tea, I pack Chinese Heaven dollars to surprise my girls, envisage secrets and paints for idle moments. For writing, I select sharp pencils and tie the knots around the folder that contains my manuscript. Words will be stitched into pixeled screens, characters and plots determined. The book is almost finished now. I think of birds cries at dawn, black coffee drunk on frost and wearing wellies kissed by icy grass. I think of a horizon of trees, infinite green and the freedom of a running child. I gear up, arrange the outside and the inside of my world for life lived at the pace of trees.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


The house is finally quiet, after an evening of yelled songs, trombones and shared Cantonese rice. The children are sleeping in velvet almost black blue. I can hear the sudden space of this time; it is a slow yellow light in a darkened room, the last red embers of a midnight fire, the taste of a hot drink, sipped lying in bed, the sound of paper pages gently turning. The night brings blanket comfort and my muscles unknot, my brain slows to the pace of a purring cat. I go to join my daughters in the ebb and flow of an ultramarine dream.