I dreamed of you and when I dreamed of you you circled me, as you always do
You were there but absent, your presence present, as it always is…
Your scent and your shape…
In the corner of my field of vision, as you always are

And you chased me down… hot pursuit, relentless… like you always did…
Slipping away, retreating somewhere I can’t follow, as you always have

And I tried to reach you but you were gone, had to say I loved you but you’d passed on, couldn’t breathe without you and I couldn’t scream…
Eight weeks straight of crying

It was just a dream.

My breath comes fast and shallow; your image on the screen,
Standing in a valley dressed in khaki green,
Preaching noble conquest but it’s just obscene

It was just a dream

Need to tell you I love you, need to just come clean
Tell you I forgive you… for what it means,
Still long to hold you for all that it would mean,
Still scared to know you,
Still scared to show you my heart’s beating

It was just a dream

Haven

My feet have tread this shore so many times
Pebble crunch and damp sand
The scent of the sea
The ebb and flow creeps and retreats
And my soul keeps the rhythm of the waves
In the comfort of the dark that envelops me

My son is the light in the window
And it’s emanating glow
He’s the lighthouse beacon that cuts through the night
Now… and now… and now…
He is moonlight and moonlight on water
Illuminating my way back home
Seems he’s been here with me forever
His doe-eyes have seen more than he shows Continue reading

Seashell

They told us if we held it to our ear we would hear the sea and I did. I heard its familiar rush of ebb and flow across the pebble-beach, casting down and pulling back. It startled me and left me awestruck; not having thought such a claim could prove true. There, in that pearly shell daubed with peachy tones, sitting unassumingly on the nature-table, lay a whole ocean, invisible and mysterious.

I placed it against my ear and immersed myself in the waves of sound and the wonder of it. It soothed and captivated me. My small hands relished the unfamiliar texture of its surface; rough exterior and silky smooth within. My eyes drank in its exquisite colour palette and my young mind marveled at  its extraordinary form and nature; struggling to reconcile its other-worldliness with this place and time. It had a quality that set it in some other place I could not imagine, like a clue to some other world or existence. Within it lay the sea.

Hayya ‘ala-l- falah

I remember waking in the still-dark early morning… becoming aware of its melodious pull as consciousness slowly resumed. I smiled involuntarily in the sleepy warmth of the unlit room as the stirring call reverberated in the hollow of my chest.

Even now the memory evokes the same glad euphoria that washed over me and ran through every inch of every cell of my body… a blissful awakening… an unexplained elation and gratitude at having woken to it once again.

It called me and I felt it.

Something deep inside me recognised it, though I didn’t know it then… though I neither understood nor sought to understand its message or the significance of those unfamiliar syllables … of those poignant beckonings, which resonated with that force that lives within… with that self, submerged and subdued by life, physicality and the wandering lostness of the thinking mind.

It called me home… called me, though I knew it not, to my life’s purpose…

It called me from sleep and to success.

Homecoming

img_0088Homecoming; not as straightforward as I envisioned, no seamless re-entry to this place… to this existence, which I once fled. Fleeting glimpses of the person I was prior to setting out give me reassurance and hope…

The grey waves break on the grey shore and the skyline, shrouded by grey mist, makes this familiar place seem otherworldly…The journey itself seems surreal; dreamlike, and the people encountered seem remote; almost as remote as those to whom I now return… return, changed yet somewhere deep inside no different.

The sense of reawakening is strong, overwhelming at times… a reconnection to the innate self, lost sight of along the way… seeing myself in those friends of old, in long-buried memories that startle me out of the blue; unsure of how to reconcile that self I once was, transformed if not entirely altered… the need to reconnect with that youthful authenticity and to somehow merge with it without jeopardizing who I have become…

The simplicity of the past and the lessons of the journey and the metamorphosis have left me akin to two beings; one naïve, uncertain, optimistic and seeking something unknown, one a traveller wearied by the road yet restless still.

Return… the meeting of an old self and old friends… grown serious.

The struggle to reconnect with who I was, without slipping back into how it was… when I longed for adventure… the disquiet and the lurking fear of settling and mediocrity pushing me on… propelling me forwards inwardly, striving to amalgamate these disparate aspects of self… striving for wholeness and to be centered… to let go… to relinquish the heavy excess baggage and retain the truths I now know… not to be swept back into the tide of mindless, complacent conformity.

Risk

Serially lost; part 1… ‘blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart’

Among the most profound and beautiful experiences of my life are the first time I felt my son move inside me and his arrival in the world… I didn’t really have a preconceived idea about how the birth would be. Thanks to my very effective socialisation I never doubted there would be degrees of discomfort but I felt I could ‘handle’ it and was ardently against any ‘unnecessary’ medical interference. I had the (#hindsight) benefit of a mother who’d read Dr Gantly-Reid and Bettelheim; was a La Leche League advocate and refused to use the word ‘pain’ when I asked her whether it would ‘hurt’. I remember I found all this intensely annoying at the time. I had my own ideas about how I would do things; left Gantly-Reid on the Shelf beside ‘The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding’ and ‘Breast is Best’ and told my mother in no uncertain terms that I would not be attending any LLL meetings… thought I knew it all. Second time round I often took those yellow-leafed books from the shelves and looked through them… even long after I knew I wouldn’t need them. Continue reading

Room with a View…

Home PC 006

This was my ‘room with a view’…  a view of a street on the go… during daylight hours the view often proved a distraction to me… its constant stream of people and traffic ebbing and flowing; always something to catch the eye momentarily or hold the attention for a while; to incite the curiosity and induce a fondness for daydreaming and people watching… my attempts at study commonly ended in procrastination; gazing out at the ‘down below’… from four floors up it was the perfect vantage point to watch the world bustle. Continue reading

Unlocking the mind…

It’s glorious here… sun shining, sky hazy and practically cloudless, waves lapping the shore… and I’ve unexpectedly found myself with that ever-elusive-to-parents ‘5 minutes peace’. Realistically I have about an hour, maybe a little more, before Ummi duty resumes… so I have taken myself to the beach and here I am, kid-free and coffee in hand, enjoying the rare luxury of ‘watching the world go by’ as I breathe in the perfect sea breeze.
There’s something about the ocean.

I’m caught somewhere between the lightness of it all and a niggling guilt that I chose not to go with the children today… yet despite this… and the bank holiday busyness of the place it is still so. utterly. peaceful… and I relax into absentmindedly people-watching. Continue reading

Moving Day

Less than three years old
Standing tip-toe-unsteady,
on the neighbours’ old arm-chair. Green, I think.

Fingertips outstretched to the mantelpiece,
to the biscuit tin that lay there.
It was red.
My name, in my mother’s voice, bodiless.
A cautionary tone.
Sounding in the air.
I can hear it.