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

Blogging, Writing, Saying and Doing – is there a right way or a wrong way?

My scribblings are usually of little literary worth -this i freely admit. The thing is, I like words and I like to write and read. Language has a taste and a texture that I find irresistible so the question beggars asking, why has my blog been more photographic than wordy of late and so very infrequent. Well, it’s a question that I wanted to answer anyway, unlikely to solve the world’s economic woes but you get my drift. After lengthy thinking in the shower I have come to the conclusion that I have wanted my blog to be perfect. Whether it’s been musings about me, or a snippet of prose or a photograph I’ve been putting on my hyper critical glasses before pushing that publish button and more often than not pressing delete. (PS despite my best intentions i have had to come back and add a bit here – the photography influx is because Nature is perfect and doesn’t needs words to explain – ha, how’s that for a deeply philosophical thought).

So here’s the thing, perfect is a fallacy for the occasional blogger. Clearly if you do it for a living everything needs to be regular and sparkly and interesting and have a hook to attract more readers. However, in my less than humble opinion, if you’re a scribbler for emotional release then a little bit of mundane is quite acceptable -obviously it was important to you if you felt the need to write about it in the first place.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m a huge admirer of daily/weekly bloggers (which I’m sure I’ve said somewhere before on this blog and fairly recently as well but whatever) whether they be fictional or non fictional and have been enriched by fascinating people that I’ve read “online” but it’s just not for me. I have a highly stressful full time job (no excuse I know ) and for me my writing has to be a pleasurable freedom and not something else to add to the to-do list. That said, I now have a butternut that needs peeling and a pie to go in the oven for dinner.
Here’s to the mundane and the ordinary, I’m told that’s what makes the world go round -well that’s my version anyway.

Note to self – you may not change one word of the above, only dodgy punctuation warrants amending.

A little cottage by the lake

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The photograph was taken in the KwaZulu midlands last year, the story is just that – a story.

The creak of her chair woke her up. She started, caught in the threads of a wonderful dream. A dream where Jimmy was still here, where she would step out on the porch and see him tying up at the jetty and come striding through the wildflowers, home to her.

The sadness gripped her heart, now all she had was his chair. It matched hers exactly, he had thought she was a silly goose when she insisted on a pair but now it made her smile. She could see the sag in the strapping and the shiny patina on the arms, the only visible signs of the passage of time and a lifetime of being together.

Not always happy times she thought as she struggled to her feet, the war and the depression had taken their toll but they’d stuck together through all of it. Jimmy would have liked today, the water was quiet and the mist rolling slowly down the hills like someone was shaking out a blanket. What did he used to call it, like a painting by van Gogh or something like that. He was a dreamer, was her Jimmy. She shivered, suddenly overtaken by a cold gloom and wrapped her shawl around her thin shoulders. The sky was darkening and over the way she could see the cows turning for home.

Time to go inside, she thought, tomorrow she would be back tomorrow.

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.

Five Days – Day One

I’ve a lifelong passion for military history and military graveyards (which might sound morbid I guess but its the story behind those thousands of gravestones that fascinates me). From Arlington to Gallipoli, Montecasino to Dunkirk millions of men and women and their families have been affected by the endless grind that is the machinery of war. With this is the ever present spectre of death ……………..

The sky is grey and wet

I’m sitting staring at the nothingness,

I’m searching for you

My hands are restless

I can feel the warmth of your skin but you’re not here.

The silence is so very loud,

I’m screaming your name,

Where are  you, why don’t you hear me?

They keep asking me if I’m alright

Keep bringing me a blanket,

Keep wanting me to eat.

I want to laugh, alright?

What is alright?

My soul is empty,

My head is full

A whirlpool of angry thoughts, you promised you’d come back.

And now all I have left is a handful of photographs,

You, so full of life

In a barren wasteland obliterated by war.

A white cross on a distant hill,

Come home

Please come home.

(photo courtesy of 123RF)

What do you do when the night is dark

Its such a calm night I’m sitting outside under the stars. The house is in darkness except for a light in the study -DH is at work on some intricate proposal. He’ll call my name shortly, wanting to talk over and debate what he’s done. My usual pen and pad has been cast aside, the yen to be part of the darkness far outweighing the need for light and the feel of the instrument in my hand. I’m going electronic to muse and schmooze ……………

“I am in my head

I am seeking quiet respite from the noise that is the world

A place of peaceful introspection

A place to think

A place to rebuild the barriers that waiver and buckle

I close my eyes

Perhaps they think I’m asleep

I’m breathing

I hear the sound, regular and even

I’m focused on the rhythm

It is the perfect antidote to my turbulent soul

Thrown out of balance by living and life

The path is crooked, jagging from one side to the other

Yet the thread that is me remains intact

I pull on it, unsure of my footing

It holds firm guiding me forward

The way is open

Time to start again.

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.