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Sat waiting for some new furniture in my oddly tidy lounge. Yesterday made a few changes with the help of our son and cries of ‘oh I love this’ and ‘so that’s where it went’. And we moved and cleaned and sorted around and about the coffee table with it’s scratches and stains of our life, the faded deep pink from the coaster that bled, the one we got in the fossil museum on the way back from our last trip west. And the stickers collected from the Sticker Lady, degraded by time, from all those years ago when she’d come to the door with her smile and her parcels and a sticker made it a good day for our growing toddler. And the table has been around forever, bought home to a different home, hundreds of years ago by my Dad in the the life before the life before this one. I can’t remember the tale that came with it, some old crafted story that was polished through childhood until it took root in their lounge before my slow transition and I remember it in the early morning light when you stayed before some meeting, some nonsense you’d travelled to, to put up with when the put up bed was in the lounge and the chiming clock disturbed you.

And later the table migrated with me to our tiny home of beginnings and I nested and dusted around it, crawling on the carpet, preparing and arranging as our son turned cartwheels in my tummy, when the fruit bowl was the basket from your Mum and the coasters came from Africa by way of Boscombe where we fed the ducks in the cold. And it sat pushed to the stairs with plastic protection, cornering it’s points as the crawling became clambered and finally stood and was filled with assorted animals and breadsticks, finger foods and sticky mits. Often trying to simplify but never getting very far. And it moved to the centre in the new home, baskets of stuff underneath, the Thomas flash cards from the model railway and the books, books from earlier Christmasses, Christmas lists from when it was a big event and the post it notes, forgotten then remembered that stopped me in my tracks.

And yesterday I moved around, and worked through the mess of memories, found dried out, brittle places, shifted things from the days when the week was full of visits and visitors and elbows of vicars. And afterwards when the the table was cleared, for a moment before the doorbell, to be covered in things that weren’t real, that couldn’t be happening, that filled our lounge with colour and smell, that filled our senses with horror, that stayed for a while and then went. And our new world filled it with books of What now? Of How to and Why? And lendings from friends travelling similar but different paths by my lantern, bought for me from me in the final Christmas when I loved the market and amber glass warmed my complexion in the months before I bought candles.

And now I lie here waiting for the van, listening to our son’s breathing as the sun warms up a frosty start. The light in the room has changed, from winter grey, heavy lids, hanging onto the bed to get up, to a slow thawing deep blue, angling soft shapes on my wall. Downstairs the tidyness waits for a new shape, somehow both necessary and contingent, like your favourite concepts and it will take quite a while to own it, to make it ours but we will. And it’s similar but different with a deep dark place to hide things away, to cover over when it’s not time or safe to show, to fill it’s heart with the things that matter and only certain people will see inside, will know what lies within it’s old carved wooden sides, it’s secret places of pain and beauty, cleverly constructed to serve it’s purpose, to continue the role. Bought from a faraway land where you travelled to in the world before this one and the trees grew around you in the days before the cutting, before the shaping and forming of our special place, our new symbol, to look after and use.

A white glare of sun sits on the high glaze of my vase, it splinters out creating more light, reflecting the otherness outside my window.

I’m tired. I wait for the bell.
x

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