Thursday, 16 December 2010

Life 101

Do you ever feel that you are missing something? That if you could only see the world as it really is everything would make sense. When I am learning something new I’ll struggle for ages reading and listening and eventually, overnight often, it suddenly sinks in, I understand how it works. Sometimes all it takes is a different explanation or the clarification of one small point and then I get it. But I don’t get life yet. Everybody else seems to be racing ahead and it seems so easy for them, while I am still at the back of the class unable to begin because nobody has told me which end of the pencil to use. I am the small child in the race that runs the wrong way when the pistol goes because he is just reacting without understanding what the race is. In public I am the older child in the choir who is tolerated but asked to mime the words because their voice spoils the song. I am still playing at “houses” and “parents” and “worker”.

Are there others like me I wonder. Has the man I pass on the park bench decided just to sit there and wait until it all becomes clear? (I tried that six months ago - it didn’t work). The woman in the supermarket staring lifelessly into space while her toddlers scream their heads off, is she wondering what the point of it all is?

Are we the undiscovered poets of the world, or just the future inmates of the asylums?

(Life is never dull when you are a complete nutcase)

Sunday, 12 December 2010


When I was little we would occasionally visit one of my grannies. Apart from the stilted conversation and the strange warm sweet smell of old houses, what I remember most is the bed. Usually very tired from travelling I would wearily climb the narrow creaky stairs and turn the corner into the bedroom. There towering above me on spindly iron legs would be the bed. The mattress was firm but not hard, enveloping but not smothering, confidently there under me like a good parent. Capping this would be layer upon layer of sheets, blankets, eiderdowns and finally a candlewick cover, all firmly tucked in around the edges. Nowadays being used to lightweight Summer duvets I would untuck everything and strip the bedcovers down to the bare essentials but in those days I would carefully squeeze myself in under all the covers and just lie there cocooned. As the bed warmed up I would gradually fall deeply asleep with a big smile on my face.

In the morning the sun shining through the curtains would wake me. I would just lie there warmly cocooned like a forest animal safe within it’s burrow, listening to the distant sounds of breakfast conversation.

Even today I look forward to Autumn when we put on the heavier winter duvet and the quilt over that . As soon as I feel the weight pressing down, holding me, I feel safe and protected. It is no wonder perhaps that somedays I just want to stay here . . .

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