Thursday, April 20, 2017

F prompt - Dancing

So today's prompt comes from that website again,  and it's very different to the previous one.  I am not a dancer, unless between the 5th and 7th pints of the evening, as I have very little natural rhythm and flow.  I have hardly any grace.  In spite of that I can Maypole and I can Country Dance, probably because someone calls and tells me what to do.  I also teach my classes to Maypole and to Country Dance, because if I don't, no-one will.  Those are the things I count as passing on the knowledge of what it is to be us.

Anyway.  It's short, but I didn't want to force it.  Sunrise and the Vessel however, is now up to just over 7,000 words and going strongly.  I'm slightly stuck in first person, but I have a plan...  I also took T-Boy to an Art gallery yesterday, and one of the women there asked me if I was an artist, and I said no, I don't paint or sculpt and she looked and me and said "Ah, you're a writer."  And I thought, "Yes, damn it, yes I am!" (I didn't say that.  I said "I try." with that self deprecating smile that we English are so good at.)

Dancing: Who’s dancing and why are they tapping those toes?

Slowly, slowly, we move together, your arms around me, your head over my head but your chin just brushing my hair.  The kitchen tiles are smooth beneath my bare feet and I close my eyes and lean into your chest, smelling washing powder and deodorant and you, all in one fulfilling breath.  I can hear your heart beating, and the low vibration of you humming with the music.  If I were to really listen, I'd hear how out of tune you were, and I wouldn't care.  It is this moment that I cherish, this moment in your arms where my world is almost perfect.

Our lives are like a long complicated dance.  We circle each other, trading glances and smiles and laughter whilst we do the things that have to be done.  Others join us, and leave us, and rejoin the dance, in it for a short while, or for a long while, but they are not our dance partner, just someone who is with our music as we are with theirs, our tunes interweaving for a day or an evening.  Some people are the rhythm of our dance, their music always in the background of our lives, holding us steady whilst we explore the counter-tempo, knowing that we can return to their beat if we want to, for a little while.  Still others enhance our music as we add a depth of harmony to theirs.  Small people giggle their way through the dance, their tune contrapuntal but essential to ours, until the day their dance becomes theirs, and we become the steady beat in their background.

All these things I think, whilst I am safe in your arms, immersed in you, held by you.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Do you find war exciting and stimulating?

This was a question asked of me by a forum that I am part of, when I was discussing the rights of pacifists to protest, and the irony that is that they have the right to protest because others died in war for them.  At this point I was asked "Do you find war exciting and stimulating?"

Here is my response.

Is war exciting and stimulating? No.  War is none of those things.  There is nothing exciting about washing and ironing and packing shedloads of kit into one of the big black kit boxes.  There is nothing exciting about waving someone off at 3am.

There is something stimulating about there being no contact suddenly, because you know that if the knock hasn’t come for you within a few hours, then it was someone else’s knock, and someone else’s family are devastated, and someone else’s family are starting a new life without a father, or a brother or a son.  Deep down you are ashamed that you are glad it wasn’t your knock, because that means you are glad for the knock being someone else’s, and you aren’t, because no-one should get that knock, but it stimulates grief and fear and self-loathing.
There is nothing exciting about not being able to sleep, about starting your day at 4am with the overnight news, watching because you have to, you*have* to see.  There is nothing exciting about not watching the news once the child is up, sneaking peeks on the computer, pretending all is well and no, of course mummy isn't worried! She was just thinking about tea...

There is something stimulating about the first contact after a silence, the 48 hours being up, the news being released and so communications are back up again, because that first email or rare phonecall is proof that there was no mistake, it wasn’t that they couldn’t find you, it was that he was safe.  That is a joyous moment, a brief magnesium bright flare of happy, that drops as you remember that other family, somewhere else.

There is something exciting about the chuff chart getting smaller, about sending the packages and about writing the letters because the small boy wants to tell the fighting man about his bike wheel, about the big dog he saw on the way to school and how brave he was about it because he doesn’t like big dogs AT ALL.  That excitement comes from the excitement of the small boy that the man is sooner home than he was, that the time is getting less and the aeroplane will soon be bringing him back.

There is a lot exciting about him walking in the door, kit box stinking of unwashed clothing, sand, fuel, huge amounts of deodorant.  There is a lot exciting and stimulating about that, and I cannot tell a lie there!

There is nothing exciting about having to be careful how you wake a person up though.  There is nothing thrilling about people who flinch at fireworks.

There is nothing exciting or thrilling about having to rewash and reiron and repack and do it all again.

It is worse when you do it for the last time, because he will never wear that kit again – he will never wear any kit again except the number one uniform they burn him in.  And because he wasn’t KIA, there will be no memorial, no name carved in Portland stone at the arboretum, nothing to show what he was prepared to do, but you are glad, GLAD, because the day he died you saw him and said “I love you!” as you waved him off to work.

So.  Am I excited or thrilled by war? No, not in the way you might think.  But am I proud of him? Yes. I am, and I always will be.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Byron - "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad."

Apparently, Lord Byron said that.

I say apparently, because I wasn't there, and I read that on the internet. 

I have been doing really well on the Hal Elrod Miracle Morning idea, but today I had to get up and write first as I had a weird set of dreams last night, quite a few of which involved Rich in normal everyday stuff, the kind of stuff that you would have thought were memories, except now I think about it, I know they were dreams.  8 years this year, and I still miss him. 
They have discombobulated me, and as I write, they are fading and this makes me sad, because I could see his face and hear his voice and even my writing is stop start.  I am sitting, eyes unfocused, relying on touch type and not even looking at the screen with any clarity whilst I try and stablise myself.  I miss him.  I miss his friendship, his humour, his smile, his eyes, the himness of him.  I miss the other trouser leg of time, which I can't miss, because I haven't done it, but I miss the more children, the moving houses, the experiences we would have had, had. he not have had his accident.

It doesn't mean I am dissatisfied with this trouser leg of time though.  I love this house, I love being with Jack, I love the boys and the animals and the VW shows and the things that *we* do together.  I am apparently able to do both - love what I have and miss what could have been.  Is this a talent?  I don't know!

I know I am tired, and soul-heavy, and I was supposed to be dumping all of the escapees from That Planet at a refugee station this morning, but they might have to all stay together a little longer. I've kept going with the story I started the other day.  I like it.  It's tosh, but I like it. I might see if this one will go the distance.  I've also printed out a full copy of my NaNoWriMo story to edit.  And I've helped to write a 5,000 word essay on the nature of mathematical research and how it can be analysed.  That was not the most exciting thing I've done this week.

I was going to look for a prompt and write, but I am still cottonwool head, so I am going to end this here, drink my far-too-hot-Chai and think.

In so many ways I am the luckiest of souls - I have loved so deeply and been loved so amazingly in return more than once.  Today, I'm stuck on the bridge between past love and now love.  Poohsticks it is then...