A scrap of paper

Every so now and again I change out my work bag. I have two that take it in turns, one a chocolate brown leather and the other a Vuitton look alike. They’re both fairly spacious and despite my best efforts the odd scrap of paper does occasionally take up residence in a dark recess.

Yesterdays ragged remnant, scribbled on the back of what appears to have been a grocery list, delivered this ……

Do you think, he said, you might want to love me? Well it was more of a rumble exactly, his voice deep and warm. She reached out and took his hand, pressing a soft kiss on his knuckles. Meaty hands he called them but their strength gave her comfort. The white cuff of his uniform was in stark contrast to his golden hand coloured by hours spent outdoors. She had fought her feelings from that first day when he met her at the country fair. She didn’t have time for relationships and men. She was going to be a politician on Capitol Hill. He’d put his arm around her shoulders and grinned, his green eyes sparkling with knowing. You can be the next president he said, but we are going to be together. A deep sigh brought her hurting back to the present and she slid off the bench, dropping to her knees in front of him. Jessie, she said and he lifted his head,

It was (I think) going to be a short story romance of a headstrong, rebellious girl and her long-time love interspersed with a dose of conflict and separation. A mosaic of snippets of other lives – someday there may even be an ending.

“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.” Anais Nin

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Five Days – Day Three

My best friends daughter is in love for the first time and brim full of romance and all the angst that goes hand in hand with it! A little twist …

She could feel his hand on the small of her back.

It felt right in a way, like it belonged

Overhead the day was quiet, the sun warm and two silent birds riding the wind as it scampered over the valley

“Em”, he said, “don’t be afraid, I love you”

His voice was low but she felt the words seared on her heart and for a moment there was nothing else

“Em”, he squeezed her hand and she was comforted by the sensuous fingers intertwined with hers, “don’t you see, this way we can be together forever.”

She felt his gaze on her face and glanced up from the ground where a wandering ant had caught her eye as it struggled over the parched earth.

She nodded in assent, her delicate mouth curved in a soft smile

And they stepped off the edge into the void.

It’s the little things

So I was having a think this morning over a mug of tea (cue fanfare and loud comments of “oh no not again”). I hooked up with my best friend this week for a chai and a chat as she having multiple marital issues. In a nutshell, plenty of money, gorgeous offspring but a total ratbag of a husband. We were sitting on her patio overlooking her newly renovated home with everything material that your heart could desire and she turned to me and said “I’m so very unhappy”. There are various good reasons why she can’t leave his podgy backside and make a new life for herself but that’s for another session, enough material for a book and a movie series.

This whole convoluted cornucopia was the source of my early ruminations. DH and I live in a very old house, it’s a reasonable size mind you (especially for two) but it’s well worn. There’s a lot of DIY work that needs doing and the job jar remains alarmingly bulbous despite everybody’s best efforts during the odd spare 5 minutes grabbed at the weekend. On some days it irks me to the point of despair but on most days I don’t even give it a second thought. You might wonder why, given my type A personality (if I have it correct type A people are those who like everything just so, well-ordered and neat and tidy – if not type A then whatever letter goes with those characteristics, also known as pain in the behind by some.) Well you see, it’s because of those darn little things:-

–          When I get home from work and my husband greets me with a loving warm smile, every day.

–          When we’re at a function and his eyes will find mine from wherever, just to check in.

–          Because he knows that, no matter how upset or miserable I might be, a cup of tea will always cheer me up.

–          Because he respects me and my opinion and we talk, a lot (I think the talking is more a result of us having been together for a goodly while than a natural thing but whatever).

Don’t get me wrong, this is not an all out love fest and there are days when he irritates me so much that if I owned a pair of Jimmy Choos I would be sorely tempted to crack him over the head. On the whole though, when compared to a freshly laid floor, the little things win every time.

The story in a photograph

 

The photograph is from a recent birthday break in the mountains, the story is whimsical flim flam.

 

“Gramps, where are you” she cried. Anxiety made her quicken her pace as she hurried around the corner of the house.

The old man wasn’t answering the phone and Mrs Dimble from down the street hadn’t seen him either.

It was two years since Gran had died, two years today since the sadness took over his every waking moment.

The patio was deserted, the only sign that he’d even been out of the house were his spectacles and his books.

He never went anywhere without his specs.

Her gaze turned to the mountains, strong in their silence and a constant presence.

Surely not,

he couldnt,

he wouldnt,

everybody knew how dangerous the path was – especially after the rain.

All you need is love ……

ratatata. – horse bloody twaddle. If the only pre-requisite for a successful relationship was being in love then divorce lawyers would be out of a job! Relationships require work – knock, knock *hello, hello, anybody in there*. Right now swiflty clambering down from one soap box and onto the next ……………

Valentines Day – red and pink and cupid and teddy bears and schmaltz! So in the spirit of cock – a – mamie Monday I throw a curved ball at the world – if it’s all about love (which I know is in direct contrast to my opening parry but work with me here) then why is love only celebrated once a year???? Ah hah – check mate, the prosecution rests its case without too much further comment.

Here’s a controversial thought that will send all the schmaltz producers into a veritable pink fit – celebrate the goodness every day with your words and deeds (save some trees, close some sweat shops and prevent soft toys ending up on the rubbish heap (is that just not the saddest sight 😦

I adore fresh flowers (especially roses) but on our first “valentines day” (which was a multiple decades ago) DH bought me a red silk rose. To be honest, I was a smidge disappointed but then he said “I bought you a silk rose so that it, like our love, will last forever” (good save you might say)….it’s entwined around my kitchen calendar – it makes me smile and when I want “real” roses I buy my own!

How much heartache because you didn’t get a card or flowers, or a squishy toy on 14 February – phooey! Personally I’d rather an sms in the middle of the day, a skype message in the afternoon or a warm smile when I open my eyes. Besides have you noticed the stratospheric prices – a friend of mine is in the “business” (she’s a real sweetheart despite this epic failing in choice of profession) and everything gets escalated by 200% in most cases.

DH and I do like a bit of romance though and we have a pair of “lovebirds” in the garden. Yesterday a tortured whisper of “darling, Slinky has a girl – bring your camera” had me haring upstairs to peek. Ahem, people of the world meet “Slinky” a striped skink that lives inside the iron clad decorative guinea fowl in the garden and likes to sunbathe

He’s a bit of a poser is our boy 😉 

and this (we think) is his girl (currently nameless).

She’s also quite shy and retiring (this was as close as I was “allowed” to get before she skedaddled into the ferns).

Then again, I suppose, it could of course be the other way around ……. hmmm no matter as sexing a lizard is not my forte and not a skill I care to cultivate any time soon!

Before the dawn

Tell a story – in less than 100 words – my own challenge – (the loss is based on the truth, the birth is fictional).

“The darkness was so loud, she could hear it in her head. Slowly she moved her hand across the rumpled bed, seeking the warmth of his skin.

The icy sheet mocked her yearning, sneering at her grief. He was everywhere and he was gone.

In another place he left her, a snipers bullet dulled his amber eyes.

His last breath whispered over the sandy ground.

She clasped her belly,

Their son answered her call – vigorous, demanding,

The rose blush of dawn illuminated the shadows

It was a new day.”

My “best” thinking …………

is done in the shower. For yours truly no zen retreat or mountain hideaway, the humble shower is the wellspring of tumultuous inspiration. The only problem with this liquid enviroment is that there is never any functional writing material at hand to preserve these fleeting nuances.

That said, one thought that did linger long enough to be grasped between thumb and forefinger is that of the concept “how important is it to be friends with your husband?”

Perhaps its an age thing or even more mundanely the time of year but I find myself in flux, in a constant state of review and observation. As always my frame of reference is my own marriage and my opinions are in no way intended to be judgemental. DH and I are so very alike and yet in the ultimate cliche’ so very different. There are days when I’d like to figuratively crown him, days when he vexes me so much that I question my mental capacity when we tied the knot (Rita Rudner always makes me chuckle …….. “I love being married – its so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life”)  and I’m sure the same applies to him. Yet despite the run of the mill ups and downs we have a genuine affinity for each other.

I firmly believe that the importance of being friends in a marriage cannot be over emphasised and would perhaps even go as far as saying it should be the number one priority. When the sweet and frothy has turned wishy washy and the horizontal mambo has turned into a soft shoe shuffle, what’s the next step if you dont like each other. To clarify, a million miles from the “soul mate” horse twaddle which goes hand in hand with the pink and pretty.

I’m aiming for plain and simple:- 

Do you want to spend time together and do you like to spend time together?