Sunday, 27 January 2013

Chasing my Tail

I'm reading a beautiful book, a tragic love story. Two loves kept apart by false accusations, and war. The writing is gorgeous, detailed. I can't comprehend that it is a work of fiction, of the power of the mind that created this tale with all it's intricacy and fleshiness. How? It is like a magical trick I can't understand. I try to write and all I can come up with is the chitter chatter of my daily life. A simplistic print of the light breeziness of my mind, the preoccupations of an ordinary life. I like to think that there are epic tales hidden beneath the surface and I just don't know how right now to convert them into words on a page. They are shadows out of my reach. Tropical fish not succumbing to my ill chosen bait. Swirling coloured forms slipping through the web of my cantations. I try to find the words, or the characters, the images that might describe how I perceive the world, but I soon grow tired, find distractions to maneuver me away from their pursuit. Often I'll just go lie down after these attempted bursts of activity and give myself an orgasm instead because that's easier, and pleasurable and instant. But that's hardly going to bring about social justice now is it!? I lack the perseverance to create works of meaning. Or is it indecision. What is it that I want to say? What is so important that I should dedicate hours to creating a suitable metaphor that will shed light on its significance? I'm procrastinating right now by lamenting my lack of skill instead of answering those difficult life questions! How easily we wile away the hours with distractions instead of facing the abyss. Whatever that abyss might be. Instead we'll hook ourselves up to the great Apple and the master Google or even the bewitching sugar and distract the very life out of ourselves. I am guilty of it, of turning away from old school pleasures earned the hard way to the comfort of the device or a short lasting sugar high. On another topic, severe weather here in my city, flood warnings. Makes me feel vulnerable. Coupled with a nagging urgency. That whispering in my ear, now, now, now is the time. I have to stop turning away from finding meaning in my life, from finding my field of work. I don't want to be a professional administrator no matter how good I am at it! Like other aspects of life, my creative work will only find shape through repetition, practice. Once upon a time I could only run one or two kilometres, now I run half marathons! It took much sweat and consistency to get me there. I must have patience, and enjoy this journey into a new skill, take pride and pleasure in this blog which is just a first step in learning a whole new world. I'm hard on myself sometimes, it's quite pointless. Lights are flickering here, from the wild weather, might lose power soon, fall into darkness. Might be good for me, my eyes are sore from staring at televisions and other glowing things. Nobody in this country copes well with being cooped up by the weather for too long. We are unaccustomed to it.
I've chased my tail here for long enough, its time to return to the book that inspired this entry, and then towards sleep.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Don't give up the fight

Tie myself into the white suit. No shoes on my feet. Bow on entry to the dull community hall. Lineup. Warmup. Technique after technique, repeat and repeat until perfect. Kata. Jion, Heian Godan, Tekki Shodan, and the rest. Such beautiful sequences of movement, yet effective, even deadly, in the right hands. My body tracing the same arc as many before me who have practiced this art through time across many countries. Makes me feel connected to them all. Those millions who have released their kiai at the close of each familiar sequence. I enjoy the precision, the element of performance in kata, being able to give it my all in this safe training zone. I'm getting stronger, knowing my body better, despite the aging process. Then sparring, practice fighting, with a respected partner, sometimes a child, sometimes a grown man, sometimes a trusted female friend. It's challenging, and I wear my bruises with pride, like a symbol of my passion for life. Like they mark me as someone brave or adventurous. I want the black belt now. When I trained a few years ago I felt I couldn't prioritize it. Too much time away from my children who were younger then, needed my time, as well as my guidance. And it conflicted with my partners perception of how I should spend my time. But ultimately I lacked the self belief that I could achieve the goal, pass the trials. I know better now. My boys come and train with me these days, it was their wish to, and are learning the katas I know so well, it makes me feel closer to them somehow, learning this art together.
The training produces a disciplined mind, you find that place at times when you are challenged, where you just don't give up, you don't succumb, that spirit of survival. And your body starts to become fit, lean, agile, sculpted through functional practice and not hours in the artificiality of the gym. And when I walk alone in the night I have a small amount of assurance that I have a hope of counteracting an attacker. I'm not so naive to think I can withstand a more severe attack, but I've given myself a chance. I would hate for some ugly egotistical bastard to bring me to my end. And I don't want to live in fear of violence used against me, or against my children. I want us to walk with our heads held high through the environments and landscapes of our choosing. Idealistic, granted, there are many scenarios around the world that would set my heart racing and freeze me in my tracks.
I like the guidance I can give the less experienced students at times as well as the care the more senior members of the club give to me and others. It's nice to see how some of the younger women and girls shine in this sport. All with our whites on, the uniform of the sport, leveling the playing field sartorially speaking. I'd like to dream that maybe one day I could help some young woman overcome the pressures of body image and find love for her body and all it can do, the shapes it can make, the power it can wield.
So there it is, just quietly, a goal, now written in the cyber equivalent of ink - I will make an attempt, or perhaps more than one attempt, to gain a black belt in Shotokan Karate.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Back to Sleep

Sigh. A dinner date on Friday night with a man I knew as a child, recently reconnected through the online networks. I thought maybe, just maybe, that I might find a spark with this one. And whilst it was nice, and the conversation interesting and free flowing I soon grew weary. Nothing in me wanted to touch him, there was an absence of attraction. Falling in love, or lust, doesn't happen over one dinner I suppose. Perhaps it is my expectations that are ruining my chances of enjoying a pleasant evening. I felt slightly sad afterwards, depleted by the realization that powerful attraction is actually quite a rarity. It's just not going to be that easy to find one who will melt my heart, especially now I am so protective of it, having done so much work to nurture it back to whole.

It takes time and energy to come to know someone. Or at least to be at ease in their company, whilst still stimulated by the exchange. I'm just not sure I can be bothered to make such a journey towards someone else when efforts towards other goals are just as rewarding, involve less risk, and make me happy. Running makes me happy, working towards my black belt makes me happy, writing down my thoughts sometimes makes me happy, dancing with my friends makes me happy. Knowing a man? Loving a man, I'm not so sure these days that this will make me happy.

Perhaps single is a better state of affairs for me right now. Luxuriate in my newly found freedom. Find confidence in following my dreams, even just having dreams that I want to bring to life is a novelty. I wasted so much energy just managing a relationship, and the trials that went along with it, why would I walk that path again.

The inner romantic likes to raise her eyes and look around sometimes I suppose, and I'll let her. And pass her a tissue when each date fails to elevate her heart rate, flood her senses, captivate her imagination and make her shiver with desire. Poor lass, back to sleep again for awhile. The rest of us have work to do.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Be Brave Girl

I am protective of this one, I want to save her from the beatings she is getting from misfortune.

I thought that being a twin would exempt her from loneliness, from needing so desperately to find another, a partner, a lover, a man. But it seems that isn't so, it doesn't provide the respite, the relief I imagined.

She says it frequently, that she is unlucky, and I always refute this, but I do wonder how much a girl like that, on her own, can take before despair takes it toll.

She's just lost her job. The one which saw her sit next to me each day, she was my work little sister and she brightened my day with her quirky outfits, slightly crooked face, pretty golden hair and sweet personality. Tiny girl, but voluptuous still.

Why she hasn't found love I am not sure, it could be the lack of confidence, the shyness, or just timing. But she's feeling the pressure, approaching 30 when friends are marrying, having children, and she wants it to be her turn. She grows impatient for a prince. Her expectations of this imagined future love are high. There is a yearning, a sadness, and wretched desperation I have observed in a few young woman who haven't had successful long term relationships by their early thirties. They require endorsement of a kind - yes - you are worthy of love and adoration. Self doubt can haunt if left unchecked. And not stifled by radical self love. Lack of a committed lover, if that is what is desired, can hurt, acutely, during this age.

My lovely brave girl, her parents offer no security or comfort. They love her, and her siblings both, but they are poor, very poor and facing their own demons. Down on their luck, especially the father figure. Too many wild years, too much time getting high, and now they are in ruins. If you judge by the usual social norms. I know he has his unique slightly deranged charms.

She has no money behind her, no lover to help tide her over if she can't find another job, and I see she is scared, just holding it together. I am worried for her too, but try not to let her see this. I'm not sure if she has the resiliency to cope if this state of unemployment continues, it's so hard at the moment to find work, good work, and we've been spoiled by a year of working with a team we both adored, in a building of utter beauty. I wait every day for a call from her telling me she has found an amazing new role. I hope that call comes soon.

I believe in her, she is easy to love. I just wish she would find the self belief to move confidently in the world, acknowledge her own beauty and skill just a little more. May my shiny girl find her dream job some day soon, or a special love, because it's too hard to be a girl who wears her vulnerability on her sleeve for too long. Too hard to fight battles across many fronts in cute short dresses and outrageous shoes. I want to see her smile reach her eyes again. Don't give up little darling.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Father

My eldest son plays cricket with a pair of brothers. They are part of a set of triplets actually with the third being a girl, who is also an accomplished cricketer.

It seems their father is ill, cursed perhaps with cancer. His frailty worsening as the cricket season progresses. Now he comes armed with a walker, his arms bandaged, perhaps from transfusions, I don't know, his voice rasping, hoarse, disappearing. His wife or partner now cast in the role of carer. 

How painful for these children, not yet teenagers, to watch this deterioration, to see the body embracing their father 's spirit whither and succumb to this illness which right now appears to be the stronger force. Stronger than the treatment provided by his doctors, and all the medical knowledge of centuries behind them. 

I don't think he can win this battle, although I want to barrack for him, it seems impossible to come back from the point he is at. My heart is so sad for these children learning this lesson so young. How will they react, should he pass, beyond the infinite grief, will they be angry, feel cheated, afraid. They are tall proud looking children. Will they realise, fully, more so than those who have not experienced such a monument loss, the absolute preciousness of life. 

So tragic to be blessed with the unusual circumstance of triplets, then be pulled away just as they begin to blossom. 

I take for granted sometimes my time doing the mundane things, like watching them play cricket. I often read my book while sitting there, and travel off to an imagery world, forgetting that I won't have an infinite supply of experiences with my boys. I must remember this poor brave man, and cherish the moments of sweetness that I get to share with my brown eyed delicious boys.

And as a community, it will be up to us all, to make contributions to the lives of those kids, if their father can't win this final fight. 

Please

Please. Let me steal you out of time for a while, to return you, unchanged, when I'm done.

Let me take you and ride next to you on a train across another country with my head on your shoulder and my hand engulfed by yours. Let's travel and be inspired by the diversity of expression in the world. Let's party in many parts of the globe and dance and lose our shit together and find comfort in each others bodies in dodgy lodgings.

Please let me lay a thousand kisses on your dimples, those crescent moon shaped crevices, that bring character to your face, and then let me ruffle your hair with my tender hands.

Let's read books about sex and learn how to be sensual and beautiful lovers together. Let's make love every day, let's find the outer extents of our sexual desire together.

Piggyback me when my high heels hurt.

Let me listen to your gravelly laugh with my ear against your chest. 

Let's kiss in the cinema during an arthouse film and let me make you hard in the darkened theatre. Let me teach you the things I know.

Dance with me, let's take tango classes together, lead me, and I will follow the pattern you carve, and you will know instinctively where I wish to be led, and let our passion for life, find poetic expression.

Let me show you love, and let me play, without needing to make you mine. Let me tread feather lightly on you, and return you unharmed, to resume your expected path in this world.