Saturday, 20 April 2013

Cinnamon love

Tomorrow morning, I'll bake a cake. A simple, rustic one with apples in it. And I'll wait for my son to arrive on my doorstep, on his ninth birthday, to eat this cake with his friends, this not very fancy cake, made with love and cinnamon and not much culinary skill, and I'll thank the stars and the dirt and the trees for gifting me with this gentle and extraordinary boy. I'm feeling sentimental, slightly bereft, on this Birthday eve, I miss having my children with me. It is my cross to bear, a price I pay for my little freedom from domestic non bliss. It's high, this price, but I pay it as best I can, and hope its worth it.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Selfish // Selfless

'You are such an inspiration' he says quietly to me. I don't really understand why he says it or remember how I responded. But I remember warmly his earnest tone, slightly confessional. And earlier he tells me that I'm one of the few people he has ever had an authentic conversation with. My mind traversed backward through all our exchanges trying to find the points of discussion that have made him feel close to me, or that I'm someone he can trust. He is right, he can trust me with all his secrets. But I feel my desire for his body is a slight betrayal of his trust. I can't even look at his large hands without wanting to hold them. I don't think I've ever sat beside him and not brushed my skin against his. Leant in just a little closer than I should have. Maybe I'm just confusing friendship with desire. Perhaps it's really just the warmth of friendship that I feel, perhaps it's natural to want to touch one that you feel close with. But now I feel this responsibility to continue to be this 'inspiration' he speaks of. Is it my perceived bravery in striking out on my own in life, does he see how hard I try in my job, how it gives me pleasure to make my comrades smile, and encourage them to go forward in confidence. I don't know what he sees in me, but I know I want to be a heroine for him, I want to inspire him with the simple things I do, by following my tender heart through this strangeness of life. Of course it would be much nicer if I could make love to him as part of this inspirational package, but, alas, I don't think that is what he seeks from me. Earth mother, not fire lover. I could happily be either. I don't mind being the matriarch of my team, with ample bosom and open arms. A wise word. I'm getting on in life, I hope I've earned the right to call myself wise.
I like watching him when he talks. I can see the ideas appearing in his mind, like lights flashing across his face, before he articulates them, usually beautifully, in his measured resonating voice. So bright, I want to know how he thinks through life's dilemmas. The little mental jumps we make, which stepping stones he lands on in his imagination. I want more kind words from him, I feel a bit greedy for them now, for his quiet admiration. But yes, of course I know, that's not the right reason to do a thing, for shimmering words from a young lion heart. After years of spiteful sarcasm I suppose it's any wonder I'm all at sea when a man is sweet to me, so starved and unused to such things my gratitude turns to lust before I can counteract it with logic. Lust on its own isn't harmful, probably good for the wrinkles and anti-aging, just as long as I am diligent with the self
respect and the pride. I really have to learn to trust myself. Trust that I do have an inherent warmth in me, mixed in with all the natural tendencies of a human woman. Have to stop second guessing my motivations for doing things, looking for that rationale that will uncover my fatal character flaw - selfishness - my achilles heel. All my life people have made this generalisation, had this expectation about me, as I am an only child, and there are a range of stereotypes about the selfishness of only children. Add to that ten years of marriage with a male who often labelled me selfish, often unfairly, in my humble opinion, when I tried to follow my own desires. I hadn't really though about this before, had this insight, but I have a certain anxiety about being selfish, which I cover up trying to be selfless, sometimes to my own detriment, letting personal boundaries be crossed, taking on responsibility for things that shouldn't be mine, carrying guilt unnecessarily.

I think as therapy I'll lie back and have a lovely dream about laying naked on my young friend and whispering sexy, shocking things into his milky skin, until he can't stand it any longer and wants to come like an explosive gorgeous summer storm inside me. And tomorrow I'll talk to him in the office, and let my desire for him recede, in favour of a companionable and trusting friendship, and trust that it's perfectly alright to want him, because he's beautiful, more beautiful than most, and to be some sort of clumsy inspiration to him at the very same time. I can't separate the distinct strands that wind together like vines towards a distant sun that make me.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Artist Biography

It's strange where you can find friendship. Even friendships that you know are likely transient can provide such warmth in days of loneliness. He's a gorgeous soul, this friend of mine, his creativity in his field of graphic design and photography is just so admirable, his passion for capturing and sharing beauty inspires me. He's taught me a lot about design software, always generous, and I help him in my way. We work together to make pretty documents, visions of potential urban futures. Or something. We talk all day, we like a lot of the same things, we get drunk sometimes on a Friday night. It's not a sexual interaction, he has his boy lover, and I don't think of him like that, despite his tall blue eyed beauty. He is having a solo photographic exhibition soon, his first, wants to be a photographic artist, travel the world sharing it's beauty by clever use of his lens. And I believe in him, sometimes my tainted artist heart rears its head in cynicism, but I think he has the optimism and drive, supported by talent to make it happen. So I encourage him, always. This week he asked me to write his artist biography for his exhibition. Cute little thing had been struggling with it for a long time, hard to write about yourself for public consumption at the best of times, especially if images are your tools of expression, not words. So I took his awkward draft , and I worked on it for him, and I think came up with something special, something worthy of his fine compositional eye. We came up with a name for his collection too, a perfect name. He was so grateful for my words, I could see how touched he was by my descriptions of his works, the sweet light I was able to shine on his efforts, and I was happy to be able to give him something to help on his way. Well placed encouragement can be a wondrous thing. Brave boy putting himself, his vision, so close to his heart, on display. He inspires me every day, his hard working ethic, his creativity, his ability to befriend all and sundry yet remain true to his vision. He makes me coffee, shows my tips and tricks in Indesign, laughs at my jokes, offers me his couch when I get too drunk to drive home and has been my work companion since my two best girls were made redundant. Together, for now, we will be aspiring artists. I can use a friend like him, one that gives to me, without even trying, by just being himself.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Giant woman

Sometimes when I feel my confidence recede, when feeling content in my skin seems just out of reach, I like to imagine myself as a giant woman, my legs longer, thicker than the oldest trees on the Earth, my head able to block out the moon. Gigantuan, yet graceful still. And all the people that influence my life, who pervade my thoughts, whether they wish to, or not, are miles and miles below me, the noise and pattern of their daily life, scarcely penetrating the pristine atmosphere I breathe in. And I'm so still and my heart so full of grace in my mammoth state that they notice me not, I am an anomaly of the landscape, and nothing more. Yet I know with one fluid motion I could squish a person or two with my big toe. End not their life, as this is a metaphorical state, but their presence in my mind. Their influence upon my heart. I have this power. And only this. Or I can shift my gaze, further afield, sweep my largest green eyes, across the globe, find a pretty spot and watch and learn, and not look back. So restful it can be in my giant body. My satellite viewing of my life, some emotional distance, until I'm ready to walk human sized again, towards my precarious, unpredictable, uncertain future. And be a little happier about it.