Curves

Her hands slid soft and determined down the flowing curves of silken clay, shaping the sensuous contours with thick yet sensitive fingers. Her nails were short and practical but glistened with the mottled glue of old acrylics, the remains of what was once a glorious and securing signature of femininity.

The studio was her favourite space. Wooden floors and walls.  Bare and humble. Shelves holding an array of books and magazines for inspiration for herself and for her work. Unintentionally messy. Some would say ‘lived in’, just like her. We all live in our bodies.

The undefined lump of earthy substance was slowly taking form. There was something familiar in the circular body with four arms and four legs equally placed around the circumference. A face peered out either side of the large head, different perspectives from the same origin. A time when two were one.

Plato’s children of the moon.

She was thirsty. Her tongue felt thick with film, her mouth was moist but dry. The residue of cherry coloured lipstick had collected in the corners of her paper thin lips framed with occasional whiskers. She brushed the nylon blonde hair away from her face and scratched her head, came away from the wheel and searched for the glass of Kentucky which was lightened in tone by melted ice. She drank greedily, apple bobbing up and down. She’d been at it for too long again. When would she be satisfied with this physical nature? When would she feel she matched herself?

Her mind span in parallel motion to her wheel. Stop, start, stop start. In just a few days, she had her next appointment. Her stomach churned at the thought of incisions and stitches, all the drugs and the year long process she was going through just to be herself. How she felt inside. The ‘she’ that had sought realisation and acknowledgement for most of her life. She crafted and she was crafted in turn.

Would her final form be as illusive as her last creation? As her last love that slipped away into the choking cloud of ignorance she’d known for most of her life? She closed her eyes, flashed back to the harsh words “Don’t touch me”. Again she reached out to be pushed away “You’re wrong!”, “I can never love you”. She swallowed and glanced in the mirror. The subtle trace of mascara was running down her cheek and she wished desperately to find peace with herself. The wheel turned and she quietly and thoughtfully continued with her work.

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The journey

The day was dismal. The rain was more like vapour that swirled around the open air like the atmosphere of another planet, soaking all it came into contact with. Umbrellas were quite useless. Her mood matched her surroundings, the journey home was always a depressing one. Leaving the market town of her campus which held her passions and future prospects, to take a train home, where the beautiful bubbles of dreams are popped one by one by the desperate bony finger of city life.

The train journey into the city takes the traveller over a bridge. The bridge crosses a rather dirty part of the sea, that only separates the nondescript land masses by a rather grim channel, full of stolen bikes and shopping trolleys that reach up through the low tides like the grubby hands of the low society asking for more. They, herself included, formed a good 70% of the city.

She still had a way to go though and was speeding through the low lying fields, plush and green and subject to surface flooding after heavy rain. Farm buildings and occasional clusters of houses sped past. She had a book open on her lap but stared through the window in deep contemplation and daydream. The book was always her prop. She’d try to read but was often distracted by the world outside the claustrophobic carriages.

How beautiful the old market town was. It bustled with healthy, wealthy people pottering round the pretty home interior and clothing shops along with different cafés and restaurants. There were street buskers playing ditties and priests stood in the centre handing out sandwiches and divine guidance. It was just so ‘nice’. She has been attending University only a short time but already felt changed. Spending time studying what she loved, rather than working dead end jobs had made her truly happy. She told herself to make the most of it and promised herself she’d be a success.

But that was the last she’d see of it until Monday now. She was going home. Home where foxes scream as they mate in the night. Home where you rarely looked anyone in the eye either through respect or through fear.

The City had come a long way since she was young, when it was full of poverty and violence. However, there was still a lot to be desired. The dirty terraces house more people per square metre than most places. Rubbish sits in the street and people sit on corners waiting for drugs. Being a city, it wasn’t all like this, but this was where she lived and she wanted out. There was little happiness here, all nerves and struggle.

So she looked out of the window of the train and as the elation of the day was sucked out of her by the coming disappointment of setting, she cushioned the blow by dreaming she was somewhere else. Somewhere more quiet and more beautiful. She’d found a house there off the back of her first book being published and a contract for more. It had a study full of books and plants, with a big window and a view of the harbour across the road. Out the back was an enclosed garden, floor covered in stones with a circular mosaic pattern in the middle, walls covered with winding green leaves, clematis, passionflower and honeysuckle. A small metal table and chairs surrounded with lazily arranged pots of lavender, iris and dahlia in blues and purples and burgundies. Bee’s buzzed around dimwitted, butterflies basked on the vivacious plants. Inside there would be wooden floors with rugs and an open fire and blankets on old cushioned chairs for the cold winter nights and room for friends to stay, where they’d enjoy wine around the table, play cards and giggle mischievously at old memories until the early hours. She’d keep the large cupboard well stocked with food, nibbles and drink, as she loved to cook in her sunny kitchen but occasionally when she had to pop down the shop, she’d say hello and smile to the people she passed along the harbour and they’d wave and smile back. She could walk into the local pub and find someone pleasant to converse with over a gin. They would discuss goings on in the village and extend invites to each other for dinner that they’d never quite get round to. Her hard work paid off and she eventually became a successful writer and married and after many summers sitting together in the garden, watching bats at dusk and counting the stars at night, she fell pregnant to the first of her 3 boys. Suns rose and set in fiery oranges, reds and golds, Christmases, Birthdays came and time went with clouds of tinsel, candles and good cheer. Eventually she sat in the garden and the sun set for the final time over her weary but very happy and contended face. What a glorious ride life was.

The train was pulling into the station, she gathered her books and stepped over onto the concrete platform surrounded by large concrete buildings. She scoured the sea of faces for a smile and saw there was none. Carriers bags blew around her feet and sirens wailed on the road. She lowered her had and began the walk home.

Woman in the bathroom

I arrived at the station with time to spare before my train. As I entered the toilet to grab some tissue for my runny nose, I scooted around a lady stood, brushing her blonde bed hair in front of the streaky mirror. She wore a smart black jacket matched with smart trousers and it was quite apparent that she’d had to leave for her job in a rush. Unprepared and vulnerable, she wore an embarrassed expression as a result of my clumsy entry. Poor thing just wanted to be caught up in her normal routine where she could feel normal, safely herself in her surroundings. I met her eye with a reassuring smile and whilst pulling the tissue hurriedly from the holder I wondered what her morning had been like. Perhaps her alarm hadn’t gone off, or after a stressful day she’d allowed herself and extra glass of wine before bed and slept through the snooze button. Maybe she’d woken to find her cat had been sick on the new beige carpet during the night, or the shower she’d been meaning to get fixed the last couple of weeks had been playing up again.

All in all it wasn’t a good start to her day. So I closed my eyes briefly and secretly wished something wonderful would happen to her, like she’d find a tenner on the floor, or bump into an old friend and arrange a drink after work, where’d they reminisce childhood crushes and adventures, wistfully wonder where the time had gone and make heartfelt and determined promises that they’d escape the clutches of the adult routine and start truly living again, starting with a cultural but fun wine tasting holiday in Tuscany.

Mosaic

We are in the dying days of summer and the weather is ever changing.

Even darkened plumes of tall column like cloud structures, intense and foreboding can almost instantly dissipate and make way to a scorching sun, that burns me with ecstatic energy.

You are my weather machine.

Engulfing me with a light I thought was out of reach, blinding me to a darkness that has held me in its bleak clutches for what seems like an eternity. Sadness has no concept of time. How long I have stumbled in the dim light of day I do not know, holding onto the notion that nothing is forever.

Nothing is forever.

Hard times will fall away like sand through grasping hands, hardened with guilt at the vulnerability we were unable to change fate and save those we love. Much like every beautiful moment is precious and fleeting, to be celebrated and missed on passing, everything will flow it’s course and drip away. All these the colours of life’s great mosaic, a portrait of each person made up of every second we take, every moment we make with ourselves and others.

Others are the most valuable.

I cannot find peace with what’s been, but I can learn to accept its pain. A branding on my heart that will ache from day to day. I can learn to lift my face up, opened eyed and mouthed to clouds and rain. As if I don’t, it could subside but I’d never feel sun again…and what a shame to feel just nothing out of fear of feeling pain, so I embrace all that tethers us together and all that makes us the same, whilst I wait with baited breath to bask again in suns warm rays.

Apologies for the unexpected interlude

Good morning!

Apologies, my page has been quiet for a little while. Things should get back to normal shortly.

I’ll level with you. I’ve been stuck in a valley of a life situation that needed changing and after stewing on this for quite some time those changes had to be made.

Life is a bit like flowing down a river, some times you’re carried and some times you have to steer the boat.

After a period of distraction I awoke to realise I was following a path I’d never intended to. I was missing valuable components to my happiness. I’ve found that life will do this when you’re not paying attention.

It was time for a revolution.

Firstly, after years of coasting jobs for the money (I had never been able to decide what I wanted to do), I took the all important step of applying for a degree in Creative Writing. I love the arts and have dabbled in almost all over the years. Much like a one night stand they came and went, slipping through my fingers when the sun came up. Like finding a soul mate, it was time to commit to the one that has naturally been the most happy and true. There is nothing more delightful to me that when words come flowing out onto paper or onto screen. I start my degree in September. I am twitching with anticipation.

Next came the job. I was working in Customer Service for a large corporation in which I had no faith or passion. The parallels to Orwell’s ‘1984’ were endless. When I started I felt hardened to it and thought I could exist quietly under the radar of the management. As long as I kept my head down and got on with my job, I could last until September. Alas, corporate companies can be the most soul crushing of places. I watched from the shadows as free thinking individuals were marched through in their masses, eyes a’glimmer at the lure of their own desk, coffee and a decent pension scheme (don’t we all dream of someone to look after us?) As days went by their smiles would dim and one by one they would lose all sense of self and become hosts, amalgamated into the machine with nothing to say other than pre-thought phrases handed down on little sheets of paper left on our desks every morning.

I had to escape there immediately, before they got me too.

With rent to pay, I stomached the last few weeks whilst looking for something else. I took to daydreaming of not going in when I knew I inevitably would. I imagined the delicious joy of staying on the train past my stop and ending up somewhere completely different, just to prove I was in control of my own decisions. Luckily, I found a job working the bar and waitressing in a local gin and whisky lounge and started the next day. The change in lifestyle has been instant and glorious. My character is something to be celebrated, rather than taken as a threat. Instead of waking bleary eyed at the crack of dawn, I dawdle home to the sound of the early birds. I have no need for the gym as I spend a good 10 hours of my day running around, carrying things, with a smile on my face and a cheeky word to say to ears who’d like to hear it. Yes the hourly pay is less, but there’s tips to be made and as long as I’ve got my means covered, then that’s enough for me.

I have no drive to have more money than I need at the cost of my happiness.

The happiness I’m feeling for these 2 changes is uncontainable. After concerns I had lost who I was, I have never felt more myself and in control of my life. It’s not been easy and I’ve felt the fruit flies of doubt at my apple but I believe in a world of distraction, the capability of being true to yourself despite hurdles is one of life’s greatest satisfactions.

Our hearts scream to our inner selves when there are changes to be made. Don’t ever be scared to make them. You’ll never know unless you try and this fear can hold us back from so much. I have returned to dancing around my home to my favourite music, wearing nothing but a shirt, cider in hand, feeling blessed to be alive.

And get out of the office. It’s not normal. Not for me anyway. Damn, it feels so good to say that.

Insecurities

So a friend of mine asked me some honest questions today on insecurities for some research she’s doing. Things like:

What are three insecurities you have?

Do you keep your insecurities hidden from people, if so why?What kind of feelings do your insecurities bring you?

Have your insecurities ever stopped you from doing something you wanted to do?

What do you think the world would be like if we were more honest about our problems and feelings?

I wrote the most honest response I could and realised that people should talk about this a bit more. So I’m humbly posting it here in the hope it will stir up conversation. We are never alone.

I worry that I annoy people or that they think bad of me for one reason or another (I hate upsetting people). I also worry that I will never find true love and have a family. I also worry that I’ll never be truly good at anything.

My biggest worry is definitely missing out on love and a family.

I try to keep them hidden as I think they make me seem weak and it adds to my worry of people having a bad impression. Plus the more admitted, the more is let out to deal with (it’s easier to ignore when know one knows). I don’t keep them hidden when I realise someone else is feeling it and I want to help and let them know they’re not alone. And sometimes I just can’t keep it under wraps Once it starts I start worrying about everything. I panic and become frigidity and obviously irritated.

How they make me feel? Scared, angry, frustrated, no confidence, panicked and that I can’t look people in the eye.

They stop me from doing things a lot. I have a voice that tells me ‘You can’t do that’, just simple things that would make me happier or anything that involves being the focal point of attention. I’m learning to override this. It’s really satisfying doing something anyway and saying ‘fuck you’ to myself. It has taken me a while to realise I am capable of overriding it…but doing so sometimes causes it to come back harder. I am becoming stronger to it though and I like this strength.

People should be more honest about their problems. Especially insecurities as they make you feel so isolated. It always feels good to talk to someone else who worries about the same stuff. Not only is it helping, but it eases the pressure on you. People shouldn’t be scared to talk about these things only it’s kind of the heart of what it is, so it’s difficult. If people did the world would be a better place as negative feelings lead to negative behaviour and that in turn can transmit to other people. Any bad emotions spread and it’s important to stamp them out. Sometimes it’s just a case of realising you are only seeing from one perspective and there are plenty of other ones out there you could choose to see from.

The ever written book

The misery of winter is slowly melting in the days of increasing sunlight.
Life’s essence, suspended in animation slowly drips and sinks back into the hard earth as the warm rays unlock it from it’s frozen prison.
There is so much hope for this year.
Hope in constant battle with fear of failure and the boldness of new moves, scratching permanent scars on the stoney monoliths of history.
In life we strive to carve our own story, leaving tales of glory and a way to be remembered when we are dead. Each memory is immortality.
Each person’s life is their own experience as is each animal and plant.
Even things alive for the shortest of time have the opportunity to leave their mark.
Life is an ever written book, it’s pages turned by the unstoppable force of the hands of time.
How thankful I am to live within it’s paragraphs.