Today, in a house that smells of babies and mourns the loss of a relative, I found my first ever spot on my eyelid. My lips are cracked from where I pick and tear at any rough edges, as I do with my skin. I have blisters forming on my hands from work, but I don’t mind this, they feel justified. I am accumulating scars up my arms and little scratches on my hands, all signs of busy carelessness, which make me proud to be a Person That Does Things.
It is my agenda today to buy some of the books you have recommended, and to embark on the exercises some may suggest. A lot of things have been on my agenda. A lot have passed untouched. I can only presume what these exercises might be for now. I like to think one will be something incredibly simple and self-indulgent, like a Happy Scrapbook. As this is something I think I would probably enjoy anyway, I will take things into my own hands for this chapter of thought.
Things that make me happy:
…… We’ll come to that.
Today’s theme: Bleeding.
I have a habit of buying shoes too big or small for me. I have feet that are slightly different sizes – both long and narrow, one a half-inch longer. I have finger-toes. I have my first and only tattoo on one, the other bled today. I don’t know why, but it rubbed on my shoe, even though they’ve always been fine before.
After my shower I also noticed a tiny bead of blood on my chest. I don’t know why this happened, I can’t speculate apart from to assume I was scratching at myself, or I was Doing Something.
I am finding it hard to think interesting today, but I don’t want to leave you hanging. So follows a chapter of a story I am working on, which I find comfort in. I am stuck in the middle, and don’t know where to take it next. Perhaps you might tell me? For this I am especially thankful to Alela Diane, whose song Tired Feet helped me write it. Maybe it will help to listen to that as you read.
In one world, one lifetime, three girls grew up towards three kisses.
Alone, they each discovered, over the length of their young lives, their deepest, darkest fears.
They thought this was probably quite an important thing to know, as things go; something that might come up.
Nira feared big ears, grey hair, short legs and cats, and stayed away from knitting. She never brushed her teeth or bathed, or sat up straight at dinner. Her mother told her these were things that made a girl a woman, and Nira wanted none of that. This little girl was afraid of old age, in all its wrinkly awe. This thing affected everyone, and held their hand till death. What good was womanhood if that was where it went?
Fara followed friends around, all morning, day and eve. She jumped up at the crack of dawn and swapped a teddy for a mum. Saying goodbye, to Fara, meant hello again to someone new. You never saw this girl alone, for money, food or sleep. She seemed a happy child to most, chatty and alive. Fara didn’t care for silence, or boredom, or doing things for yourself. Loneliness was the storm cloud hovering near Fara’s heart.
Cold was a more complex child. Cold made footnotes of her post-its. She bracketed in birthday cards. She wrote letters at dinner, giving thanks to the host. Her mother just smiled her thanks. Cold made phone calls twice a day to those she’d just seen, to check and double-check they’d heard and understood everything she said. Cold was keeping track of life by making sure they knew how every word and comment she uttered was really intended. The worst thing that could ever happen to her was to be found in the grey place between grateful and expecting, tired and uninterested, or ill and injured. So she still wrote to tell people, even if she was uninterested.
One day these three lives merged under one sun; one that was arching its back over sleepy lapping waters that could have been put there just for this.
One carpet saw too many greens one night, and one dish smashed too many. One girl was fed up with playing by the rules. Nira ran away from home, and away, and away, and away.
One hand got sweaty and sick of holding onto another. One hand pushed, and one belly felt the weight of one hundred worlds falling into one place. Fara decided to find new friends somewhere else.
One letter too few came to one room in one house, and one tongue spoke a final full stop. Cold went turkey on her notes and calls and took a vow of silence. Her words weren’t welcome here.
Tired feet worked through a day and a night, while tired lips awaited.
One head cocked across a clearing, made of sugary, spicy trees, while… nice things… hung about above.
Brown eyes stared right into green, and blue eyes joined right in.
Nira reached out first and made the bravest steps of all. Nice things moved out of the way, and sugar sprinkled down.
Fara sheltered in the spice, aching for that hand.
Two minds grazed under that sun, green troubles and brown shared.
One heart stood lonely on but watched how tears were left unsaid. Then wandered off for a little while, through icing in silence.
Later, later more, Fara was lead by brown-eyed hands. They told her happy things were close, though she could feel that they were really talking to themselves. Green eyes and brown felt the uncertain warmth of another as they looked up through flossy snow to see a low thing sitting…