Wednesday, 3 July 2013

This is what it is

From time to time, I crave the city. Needing hustle and bustle and people speeding by, faces gazing ahead only focusing on their destination. Sometimes when I'm sat on a bus and I have heard the voice of the person behind me unfolding their bus journey conversation, I wonder what they look like and whether I'll be disappointed when they get off and I finally put a face to the voice. Sometimes if they're especially interesting I wonder if I should follow them and see where they take me. A long time ago I did just that and when I told a friend she looked disturbed. Deeply disturbed! Sometimes I just want to sit at home alone ignoring the dirty dishes and the next load of laundry that needs to go in the machine. Sometimes my longing to do just nothing is so overwhelming that when I get the chance and I finally sit down, I cannot bare to get up to open the windows and back door to let fresh air into the house even though it's a warm day. Sometimes I feel guilty when I spend time indulging my artist self when I know that I could be stripping the meat from the chicken that I cooked last night and preparing my twice cooked chicken stir fry so that I can spend extra time with the kids once they're home. Sometimes I smile at how much pleasure I derive from looking at drawings by illustrators who share my cynical, sarcastic and often sick view of the world whilst simultaneously listening to Gillian Welch and thinking about riding a horse at speed in the Arizona desert even though I have never climbed on a horse before. 

Sometimes when a stockpile of dishes has accumulated, to deter my heart from sinking in a bucket of icy water, I find something really exciting to listen to like an episode from the back catalogue of desert island discs  and I make my chore into a 'moment'. I have my hubby to thank for these 'moments', he does it so well. Sometimes at night, I open my children's bedroom door and cock my ear to hear two different breaths and right there I think of all the other many times I have done the same thing and I think of all of the many days these little people have been in my life and how precious they are. Sometimes I whisper I love you into the eldests ear just so that I can hear his sleepy drawling retort of 'love you too'. Sometimes I tell that youngest of mine stories about 'Master Bobbie' at bedtime and watch in delight as his eyes grow wider waiting for the next instalment and it makes me think of my dad and the stories he used to tell me. He would tell me that one day a coconut fell to the ground and cracked and when it opened, there was a baby inside and that baby was him! It messed with my head a little but I loved to hear this story and its subtle variations over and over and over again. 

Sometimes I go against my natural inclination and I tell those in my life that I care for exactly how I feel about something that hasn't been sitting right and then I begin the painful process of overanalysing what I said and trying to pat myself on the back for being honest and verbalising my thoughts whilst all at once wondering if I should have 'smiled and waved'. Sometimes I think I've let something go and then it leaps back in and I feel disappointed and sad and let down and the worst thing about this type that leaps back in, is that the person who has caused this let down has no idea and if they do have an idea they don't care. And, maybe if the hurt was yours alone you'd manage it but it's the hurt that impacts on another and you have to witness it and it makes you want to scream and do this. Sometimes I realise that the films that my children watch are impacting on my philosophy, I wonder if it is normal for a 38 year old woman to identify so closely with fictional characters in a children's film. That said, I understand that studios have to make films with a multiple demographic appeal so I guess it's ok. 

Sometimes I forget to look into my soul mates green, green eyes and when I find the stillness to do just that, I remember the journey, I remember it all and it is an amazing story, one that I treasure. Sometimes it's ok to not have the words and to not really care. Sometimes it's ok to have african food for breakfast. Sometimes it's just not enough and once I've said so aloud I feel so much better. Sometimes you just feel heart sick, all of a sudden with no announcement or forewarning it's there and won't go away and you have no idea if you're just premenstrual or if it's something buried a little deeper and you catch yourself sighing, again and again. I think it may just be called 'homesickness'. Sometimes all it takes is to pick up the phone and hear the voices of loved ones miles and miles away in deepest, darkest Africa telling you that you are always welcome, that they are simply waiting for you, waiting for that day, just waiting for that day because that's what counts. 


  1. Katie, I love ready your work. Its always from the heart and gives me some peace, and reminds me to just give the pickles an extra squeeze before bed. The way you write reminds me of my favourite authors, Raymond Carver. Not sure if you know him but he only took up writing later in life and he died quite young. He often only wrote short stories about everyday things, but about how these mundane things often said so much. Check him out if you have not already xxx

  2. Steph thank you so much for your lovely words of encouragement -I'm blown away! I've only ever read snippets of Raymond Carver's work and fleetingly so I'm looking forward to exploring it now. Thanks for that, I love a recommendation! xxx