111. traveler at heart

the night was gloomy yesterday, moon acquiescing to the smattering of grey overbearing clouds. we didn’t go anywhere and i wished we had.  i didn’t feel like reading, the longing for the impalpable weight of your breath on my skin so overbearing. the long stretch of time loosened memories, it made me heavy with anticipation of our holiday next week – hiking up mount snowdon, just the two of us.

going to university (feels so long ago now!) made me realise how little of britain i have really seen. there were people there, from china, singapore, malaysia, who flittered their summers away on lancashire plains, up and down landmarks, around scotland and wales and i felt like i hadn’t seen britain at all. psychologically, i think, we always long to see another culture, another way of life because we think it will shock us, inspire us, change us. what we fail to realise is that our own culture is just as beautiful and just as unique. so i’m digging up my old walking trousers (if they still fit) and going up spending three nights where, granted, people still speak english, but where the way of life is not what we’re accustomed to in London – it’s quieter, peacefuller, more at one with nature.

i love the hustle and bustle of life here, the dip and pull of waves of people rushing places, but sometimes it’s nice to be in the multitude of green with the feeling of life at a standstill, catching a breath. our last trip to wales (july the eighth twenty twelve?) reaffirmed my love of london – llandudno was smaller than expected and everything shut at five, giving its evenings an eerie, cold feel. but the beauty of the surrounding was irrefutable – i longed to take the blue skies and green hills with me upon return.

so i’m excited, definitely excited. i think i’m a traveler at heart.

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110. all world needs a muse

i’m more a reader than a writer, a passive comma in the midst of life. born to incite something or other, born to launch without ever going anywhere oneself. but there is time. time changes all, time smooths out the edges.

last night, T let me read the first two chapters of his working book. he started writing because he was inspired when we went out and about London for a bit. he started writing because he’s in love with me, but never mind that since he never put it into words. he’s a friend of ours and if dreams fill up the length of lonely days, who are we to begrudge him? in any case, the writing’s good, the writing’s solid and if i push someone to something more than they were, that is achievement in itself. it makes me happy.

it’s strange, this writing, when all i’ve written the last year were essays. creativity has a propensity to seep out when you no longer use it and it takes all the will you have to take it back. all world needs a muse. for burroughs (“naked lunch”, “junkie”) it was joan vollmer, whom he killed by accident and who poured out the guilt in words, whose loss left him to seek a way to replace the void; for nin (“delta of venus”, “spy in the house of love”) it was miller, who interrupted her life and frenzied her with his roguish charm and bohemian life; for me it is you. for i can read all i want but unless i have you near me, unless the warmth of your lips touches mine, ideas cannot solidify into something more than a wispy dream. when you were gone (four weeks and three days, for i was counting) interminable minutes seemed to stretch into infinity. no matter where i was or who with, the thought of you made me ache all over, made me hungry for the staunch presence of you.

now you are back, your touch is fresh and i’m learning to write again.

109. but i couldn’t

i thought of making another blog, starting a story from scratch, erasing the past i had myself forgotten; but i couldn’t. i couldn’t think of what to call it, couldn’t make my own words, having used yours for so long.

so, still, i write to you, though you are mine. i still write to you for who else could I write to, who else makes my heart slurp up the blood quite so greedily, who else can take the whole of me with one look? if he exists, and doubtless he does, i haven’t found him yet.

you swept me off my feet watching sunrises by my side in the train, gaze lingering to my thighs, lips ready to go for the jugular. you courted me through the snow, waiting for my other loves to die a natural death. you won me, fair and square, because it was i who awakened the predator in you and blood-lust blinkered you. i let you into the darkest part of me and you took me but if you stopped loving me, i would stop loving you. i must admit, there are nights when i wonder what that pain would feel like.

over time, i understood i never meant to be the best, only desired. i’m not ashamed of that – all that we are, all that we have stems from desire. the instinct to conquer is stronger than the instinct to love. you should know that because i don’t miss X and Y. you should know that because i still write. you should know that because once in a while i tell you that i don’t believe in love.

i’m that girl you met all those years ago that told you i was gonna fuck a lotta guys, just different.

football in the dark

the sun

f

a

l

l

s

on the windowpane;
the shattering glass
glistens.

sphere bouncing off
again and again
in the replay of that time:
the thump
thump thump
of children’s beating hearts.

we don’t wait for the shout,
we run, paling,
into the leafy dark
where we collide with silence
and each other.

breath escapes,
fear subsides, feet find the ground:

we learn to play football in the dark.

108. flesh and blood

intrinsically, we are all the same: flesh and blood, bones and dust. and when we are born, the world flutters under the weight of us. we are the oxygen of life.

as a woman, it is hard not to feel the nautical beat of potential life swimming somewhere deep down inside, the taut knot tied tight. and only the tide of red flushing the possibility out is a concession of peace, a book falling shut with a gust of wind, oyster shell clamming up. we learn to breathe only for ourselves again.
we are liberated, we are free. from responsibility, from fear, from life, yet unborn, screaming to break out with a pair of lungs not yet formed.

and yet, on the other side of a coin, we are told that once formed, the foreign clump has rights? jeremy hunt and patriarchy. it’s men’s world, just as it ever was. we strive for humanity but religion clouds the eyes. are statistics not enough? what’s humane about bringing an unwanted child into the grim ouskirts of this world?

i grew up in ukraine. the newly independent, drained ukraine of the nineties, worse even than it is today. i was a hotly unticipated child, the following story is not about me. the story is about a friend of my mum’s who said something i will never forget. at christmas, i take my kids to visit an orphanage to see how lucky they are to growing up in a family.
there’s in excess of 100,000 orphans in ukraine even now. 90% of them still have living parents, parents who don’t want to or can’t look after them. at 16, when they leave orphanages, they, more often than not, take to the streets to live the life of crime.

now, i’m not saying abortion is right but if ever i was in a bad position, i’d want to have that second chance, the opportunity to do what’s right and not throw a part of me away onto the scrapheap of life. pro-choice was never just about women, it’s also about the suffering of children born only to be abandoned.

then again, what would you know about that, mr. jeremy hunt,  educated at oxford, born to a sir?

107. in the rain

sometimes i think i only live inside your blood because i haven’t learnt to live in seperation.

you’ve been saving me so long, you know. and now, how do i tell you that it wasn’t worth it, my love? death will come and get me in the end and it will transpire to you that i was always closer to plath than to anais.
the death instinct shakes the salt out of me, it’s the pearlescent blue of the vein branches;  it will reach the heart eventually, it’s always there, diffused in the blood.

i’m always going somewhere, bumping into hurts, renewing my lease on life. and we all know life doesn’t come cheap and death doesn’t come fast for plain janes like us. sometimes i wish to break the mould like sylvia plath, but for now you love me and i’m still tough and sharp like a piece of shattered glass.

i see vendors of big issue on the streets and i wish i could take them all in. as a child, i planned to set up a house where homeless would sleep until they got back on their feet. now, all grown up, i can only smile at such grand dreams and buy the magazine from the kind face smiling at me in the rain.

the world is full of pain.

106. and long grass all around

it’s nights like this, the lonely sort of nights, when bones are aching, theatening to fire spasms into the dark of blood, that peace prevails. it creeps up silently, a stranger, acting swiftly and clumsily, like a child. sometimes it breaks for a moment only to shower you into a steep impenetrable sort of calm; a calm of chilly summer nights far away in oklahoma somewhere, where you’d lay with a straw in your mouth and long grass all around and all you’d see would be stars twinkling up above you.

reading does that to me – the book transports me, holds me, lures me and scares me back to life. i grow upwards and shrink further to the ground with every word, holding my breath as if underwater, sometimes.
it’s the ideas, the words; its everything i cannot do and wish i could. it’s the perfect storytelling of silence, the pictures projected on the retinas of the eyes without the image being there.

it’s brilliant, this magic. so brilliant that in the heart of this throbbing, vivacious city i find myself transported to the loneliest, most tranquil place on earth, as if the skyskrapers have ceased to exist, as if the traffic has stopped its clamouring and honking.

i’ve always thought that without books, life would not be worth living. it is the books we read that chart our life as dreamers, artists, schemers, men.

don’t we all know that the best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men / gang aft agley? but books, they never deviate, they never stray. forever constant, those letters on a page, changing only with the change in our perception.