Tuesday, 31 July 2012

VI. Disappearing footing

I need to disentangle.

I need to stop taking walking towards him only to find he has, even without knowing, laid a very simple trap for me to fall through. And I go down through the same old dirt every time, dust and anger coating my tongue. Blood sometimes too as I bite down to temper my retaliation.

The fact that he is not really aware of what he does, makes it harder for me to recognise. There's no preemptive signal to guide me. I am travelling safely and then I am gone. I am weak, susceptible, playing the victim. I am an open, trusting and simple. Or perhaps lying to myself. He's labelled me a cheat, he's labelled me selfish, a bitch. Who am I to say otherwise.

What I need to understand. No, more than understand, believe with every fibre, is that our two realities don't need to align. His structured view of the world, borne from a strongly indoctrined and stringent world view doesn't allow for my different way of seeing the world. When he judges he does so with convinction that he and he alone is right. I have no such convictions, being fluid, full of somersaults and fence sitting behaviours.

I am told it is bullshit that I am attending a work function in lieu of watching my son's football match. Which I normally attend every week. And see my child for an hour. Before he goes off again with his father. I am told that it is uncomprehensible that I would even imagine doing such a thing. And my explanation of the night's activities is met with deep sarcasm. I will never meet his expectations and his judgements are always harsh. He points his finger at me in the most veiled of ways. I am left with the feeling that nothing I have ever done has been good enough. I shouldn't give him this power. I must shrug my shoulders and think, this man, the one I lived alongside with for so long, is entitled to his judgements. My skin must grow thick, rough and unattractive. I am made of air now and everything seems to strike at me in the most direct of lines. No resisting force to counteract. My tolerance is a bottomless lake created through earthly shifts. Tectonic plate type movements.

As a fire sign, you would think I would just burn the recurrent verbal abuses to ash as they come my way. But my fire is a constructive warming force. Passion for life that raises me in the morning. The epicentre of my life force is fire filled. Which is another way I suppose of saying that I have a fire in my belly. None of my words or expressions in this blog have been unique. This is supposed to be about improving my writing but I'm getting caught in the therapeutic process of expressing my pain. There aren't too many avenues for such things. Perhaps prettier language will come with time and patience and hardwork.

So a mantra for myself today is required. I am a beautiful and earthy woman and mother. I will love and tend to my children in my unique way. I will not give them a pantomime of what others think a mother should be. I will give them me, and nothing less.

Monday, 30 July 2012

V. Desire

“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.”
Frederico Garcia Lorca, Blood Wedding and Yerma

Ruling emotions change with time. Now, sex and desire have become strong driving forces. I am ascending to my peak, fearful with the knowledge that on the other side of the peak, there is decline. Loss of this life force that so strongly filters, alters, injects into my thoughts and through my body seems unbearable. And so a panicked desperation resides alongside my sexuality, it is no longer leisurely, the time for the most passionate experiences of my life is now.

There are people who come into your life who become a focus for your desire. A shadowy barely legible magnet for the force of your passion which shifts the sands of their being to your liking. Creativity, imaginings, longing, pain all stream through the lines of communications within your body with your knowledge of them, however small that might actually be. It is hard for the noise of others to interject into these sweeping uncontrolled emotions that permeate every moment of your life. Even the whispers of children get lost on the this spiralling wind. When this happens to me, I am overcome, so much so that its hard to actually be in the company of the desired one because I feel it must be so obvious that I am aflame with my want for their touch. Reaching for their love, in whatever shape that might come. Attempting to open myself up and embody the most beautiful expression of feminity so that I might be loved by a stranger. What is it to know someone? Is it enough to have memorised the lines of their body and the timbre of their voice. To have looked into their eyes. Read countless of their words upon a screen. I ridicule myself for my infatuation. It's not real, it's a creation of my mind, an illusion that has served to remind my of my need to be not only the beloved, as in my marriage, no matter how ineptly demonstrated that love was, but to be also the crazed lover. The lover overcome, vulnerable, open and brave.

The lover who risks the pain of not having that love returned, who doesn't keep quiet about their love but attempts to lay its silky fleshy imperfect threads in a near perfect pattern before their chosen one. To find it is left, unravelled, untouched, in its beauty. 

Dangerous to love someone thoroughly when you are in the throes of having forgotten about the value of your own heart.

IV. Anonymous attacks

I was going to write about the first date I went on with my husband. To the flicks, the movies, the cinema.  But I don't feel like reaching back that far into my past tonight.

Something more recent then. In the past year or so.

I've been lucky to have been well loved by my female friends. Been supported, nourished, embraced for who I am. But recently I learned that women can be callous and deceptive. Darkened by the unhappiness of my marriage, my heart had raced out and imprinted on another male in the outskirts of my life. Not someone close to me, but someone I saw regularly and who I had a quiet infatuation with. Not something that I wanted to act on, it was an escape, a fantasy, with a small amout of reality thrown in. But someone noticed it, somehow and took action against me, perhaps threatened by me in her own campaign to win the affections of this particular person. I am unwilling to revisit the details of her strange assault, which happened a month after I had left my husband and house, but the immediate aftermath was fairly damaging because it left my husband believing that a third person had been involved in the breakdown of our marriage. For a man, who has been rejected by his wife, I suppose it is easier to blame another than deal with the pain of rejection. My heart had been blackened by his actions over the course of years but I broke his heart all at once. Too much for anyone to bear with dignity.

I've always believed in the sisterhood. In bringing out the best in people. In being kind. And some woman, still unknown to me, festering in the darker outer edges of my broader social circle, who knew me in a particular community social setting went all out to bring me down, to make sure I didn't return to that particular place, to be in the reach of that particular man. Him aside, it was a place which I had loved spending time, where I had been brought back to life and good health after the years of sleepless nights spent mothering my babies. Her threats worked like a charm. I still haven't been back to that place. And I cringe when I drive by it, and I have to, regularly. It felt like a betrayal. Could she not see the empathy in my heart for others, that my infatuation for this man, was borne from my own pain and need to be loved, just as hers must have been. I suppose not. My trust had been broken, my privacy had been invaded, and for the first time in my life someone had called me a whore.

I'm not a conservative person, and I believe that we should be able to express our sexuality. But I still went spiralling into self doubt when labelled this. Had my desperation been dripping out of every pore for all and sundry to see? Was I letting my lust and desire steer my actions and blind my vision and not realised it? She must have struck a nerve.

I still wonder who she was. It's not anger I feel. I don't wish to retaliate, just to let her know how much her actions hurt me, and my husband more so, who had been the principal recipient of her anonymous texting and phone calls, based on a complete misreading of a situation. I want to tell her that even whores have hearts. That wasn't an admission that she was correct in her ridiculous name calling, just some self-deprecating humour.  

She created a triangular relationship between me and two men, where before there had been none.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

III. Cross Cultural Marriage

For more than a decade I was partnered with a man from another country with a completely different upbringing, culture and religion. We have had two extraordinary children together. I left him one year ago, almost to the date. Walked out on our marriage and broke apart my little family.

I met him at a university in Australia where he was attending as an international student. I was 22 or 23 and recently returned from my own first trip overseas and completely fascinated by other cultures at that time. My eyes had been opened. My head full of the dark eyes of the language teacher I had fallen for during my time overseas. A sweet gentle person who touched my young heart. He loved horses. We wrote letters to each other for many years afterwards back before email was so common. Letters on paper written by hand and sent by international post across the sea. Seems so old fashioned now. I've kept a few of them. I wrote some poetry about him. That's just the romantic girl I am. I'll see if I can find one to post. Young love.

So when I turned up to a student meeting back at my university in Australia and laid eyes on the man, who I would ultimately marry, I was intrigued. He was the first Muslim I had ever met. And I, a young Westerner, who believed that love could overcome any cultural differences. Was I naive?

This is harder to write about than I thought.

It is very difficult to get through all the obstacles of life alongside someone who perceives the world so differently. Whose family you can't always relate to. Whose beliefs you don't subscribe to. Enriching too. I've learnt some wonderful things along the way about different ways of cooking, celebrations, customs, languages. But a hard path, involving, for me anyway, compromise. As do all relationships.

In retrospect I should have compromised less, stood my ground, not allowed my individuality to be eroded, shaped by my partners ideas. That makes me sound like some sort of weak victim. I wasn't, I fought. But against someone whose convictions were just stronger, than my more open fluidity of mind. Buried resentment destroys love, completely. Suppression of your unique voice makes you feel lonely.

I'd like to record some of the extraordinary moments of the relationship first though, before deconstructing it.

Friday, 27 July 2012

II. Vegetables

I was alone for dinner tonight and made soup. Broccoli and potato soup. There are nights, three out of seven, where I wouldn't make broccoli soup for dinner because one of my children has a strong aversion to it. It give me pleasure to eat vegetables. To cut them up also. Even to select them from the suburban supermarket, where I would prefer not to shop but still do because it is habit, gives me satisfaction. They are glorious things, my vegetables.

I'm not a vegetarian, although I have been in the past. For more than a decade. I don't enjoy the experience of eating meat. I can't pinpoint why. Some guilt I suppose, a little sadness for the animal, the texture is confronting, as is the imagery of the blood that once flowed. Soup made with vegetables feels clean by comparison. But my lifestyle requires the power that meat can give, on occasion. I run and I dance and I exercise to a high level almost every day. Even when I should rest and my muscles are full of so much weariness, I run and dance. I've come to accept that I have a tendency to become addicted to things. Sometimes at the expense of other things which are probably more important. The experience of pushing my body is the invigorating force that right now is keeping a number of dark and pressing forces at a safe distance.  In time I will write of these things. When I warm up to it.

Of warmth, a glass of port in a sweet rounded little stemmed glass sits beside me. A glass that belonged to my grandfather, apparently.

I. Introduction

I have named this blog Crossing Spain as this is what I plan to do, on foot, in the year 2015 to celebrate a milestone Birthday. I won't reveal which milestone Birthday at this moment as this is to be an anonymous blog.

I've had a fascination with long journeys and pilgrimages for some time, tests of endurance in general. Both for their symbolic meaning and for the imprint they make on the physical body. I am deeply rooted in my physical body, my flesh and live to feel both the pain and the pleasure that movement, of many kinds brings.

I am uncertain as to whether this blog will be read by anyone. But it gives me motivation to write, being able to imagine, that ultimately my words will not be lost in the wind. I will attempt to write all the way through  the following years to the time when I will cross Spain. Providing I don't die. Which as we all know can hapen at any moment and I've become superstitious of making claims, with certainty, about things I will undertake in the future. I prefer to be more subtle and suggestive about it.

I had someone I wrote to in the past. The words flowed from my heart and mind to him. But I've lost that connection now leaving me a little bereft. So this blog is my solution. My words have to go somewhere and right now they are carving about a painful path within me which is no longer sustainable.

I'm in a tough spot in my life right now. Have lost some things. Shed some things through choice. It's a time of rebuilding and discovery. I'm dealing with interpersonal issues about love, loyalty, family. I'm not depressed, just feeling things deeply, a little weighed down by guilt and by fear. But I have a lust for life burning within that will see me through whatever time is to come.

I'm going to have to write some entries about the past. In a hope that it will help me release some of the emotional connections to the past I am unwillingly holding on to. I'll write about things I observe that please me, that make me grin.  I'll try not hold back, but I do have to be careful to retain my anonymity.

I'd like to write a book, but really I'm not suited to creating structures for stories. For making predictions about things, for deciding upon a story that most beautifully represents what I am trying to say. Instead, I will be a unique filter for the impressions of life and throw them back at you on my Wall. Through words. In cyberspace.

Thank you for reading.