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This place that I know intimately remains mysterious.
Sea air and gull cries, stone and salt breeze, sunset and sunrise…
if not here then where can I be at ease?

This place I can’t disentangle my spirit from…
that I long to escape…
remains dear to me,
bound to it by my history, nostalgically.
Pebble beach and grey sand

A sense of bodilessness…
Anchorless and unmoored,
yearning for a place of rest… and for reprieve…
from my restive soul’s badgering,
from thinking and thoughts clamouring,
from the ‘making-sense-of’
and the constant heart’s-hammering
and the considering… which way to turn.

If not here, which place could possibly hold me;
subdue my restlessness;
quell my disquietude;
enfold me and console me?

My sanctuary,
a retreat,
and a reference point for my soul.
My shelter and my bolt-hole,
the perfect layover…
on my way home.

Rotten Apples

The words evoke a pungent smell of dank leaves and windfalls… memories of an orchard years before… a childhood recollection long forgotten but suddenly reawakened from the depths of my consciousness, where it has lain dormant, buried beneath the decades and the layers of debris that have settled. Unexpectedly unearthed now the sweet, heavy scent of rotten apples rises in my nostrils for a moment and scenes flit soundlessly across my mind’s eye; dappled sunshine on leaf-strewn grass, standing self-consciously amongst the trees with the neighbours’ children as their father speaks with the farmer, more fruit than we can carry gathered in our jumpers, piling into the back of their beat-up car to return home with bags of green and rubied treasures.

26.08.2016

Black Swan

A black swan cuts a singular path through the blue air… I turn my eyes upward for just a moment, surveying the apparent dome of the summer sky. Unusual cloud formations, seemingly motionless despite the welcome breeze, give the scene a surreal sense of pause… turning back the swan has disappeared from sight. A lone gull crosses my field of vision, black-tipped wings rising and falling rhythmically and unhurried; sun glinting on its pure-white body.

A yacht moves out into the bay, so slowly it could be imagined to be drifting, or even shrinking. Departing at a diagonal from me, its sail has already risen above the horizon, where fifteen minutes ago it had looked close enough to touch… now its mast is barely perceptible where sea meets sky; cobalt touching pale-blue serenity. Continue reading

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.

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

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.