Thursday March 1st
This is perfect
Heavy fog, mist drip tapping onto me.
Hanging on branches, can’t see very far ahead. Before the bridge can’t see the other side. Everything shiny and seeping. I turned right don’t know why. Halfway up a different path stop and listen. Sharp branches in foreground with washed out trees beyond. The traffic is calling, I must check this route another day. The distant shapes are inviting but I need the hill, I wonder where this goes? I want to escape. Turn back for the bridge. Catch the raindrop from the rusty grid of fencing, holding back nature. I burst its surface tension, its invisible wetness on my finger. The bright yellow arrow points north west insisting to me its a footpath. I take its hard plastic advice. And all the metal struts are hung with glass beads and thread pushed out and woven with instinct to catch food. And I resist the temptation to brush them away on my hand, forcing them to rebuild without resentment, without anger, just doing it because you have to feed – relentless parenting. And the wings flush by me, and the white is so heavy I want to keep walking into it, to be swallowed whole by the mist but if I do when I get there it will still look the same. Pidgeon reminding me it’s time to go. All I can see are faded outlines of what used to be there. I know it’s underneath somehow but I can’t see it, have to feel it instead. Can hear the pidgeon nearby but can’t see him. The cold’s building, the greyness hangs. This is a close fit today – Submerged in thick scared desolation. Beyond weighted down. Anticipation, knowing it will lift at some point but right here, right now,
it’s solid dense saturating clawing imploring calling me into it.
Heavy, consumed and lost
I look back
everything has disappeared
I look forward and see only solid white
Friday March 2nd.
Last time before the weekend
Cold, calm earlier, want to hold onto it
But there is no holding just being
It may shift again
But not the denseness from yesterday
Owner calls for busy terrier and behind me a selection of dogs have joined the day
Sun trying to force itself up
Real interruptions now blocking me with phone calls and her focussed dachshund
‘That must set you back a bit – did a mental calculation’
Unfeeling, feeling too visible and vulnerable
Leave them to their briskness, leads in hand
I’m off the leash myself, out of bounds.
Our friend turned up in his familiar way and wandered round the back, off to hunt boar. He came to help with the garden and my husband used to envy his life wrestling with nature and words and now he’s here balancing a spade because the job would make my back ache.
I take myself away as the sounds start and staring through the pain I listen absently to the deep thump pause of preparation.
I study our willow star, it’s raffia ties crinkled dry by the months. And lose my place until the throaty throb of his petrol motor torques its way up and over the lawn.
The sparrows compete for special offer worms eager, plump and fresh. Revealing.
The sun doesn’t quite break through but the waiting creeps forward,
The movement is irresistible,the process is becoming.
Saturday March 3rd
Steeling myself and feeling inescapable movement through the day. An inevitability approaching like the first weekend in-between the first and second conversations.
Tomorrow we work on the garden together.
Sunday March 4th
Early morning, listening to our son’s breathing and through the curtains that belonged to a different land I lie under the washed out grey. The gentle pittering becomes more insistent, It sounds Good, cleansing and pure. It feeds my earth. It’s natural process, turning, moving, being.
The patio is dark and shiny, the leaves heavy. Under the soil everything ticks and buzzes with potential. A universe I can’t see but sense, but feel.
Everything is in motion
The rain has a softer punch but keeps coming. Everything is saturated with this anticipation,
moving through stillness.
Wrapping myself up.
The rain is cold despite moments of spring. My feet tingle from the soaked concrete, last years leaves have changed but they’re still glossy and proud. I can see my breath. The bare trees cut black angles across the thin grey wash in front of me.
I flip away, she’s in her red fleece, I take her arm, he never likes the trip but loves the connection. And she can’t decide what to eat so he chooses for her and we knew she had stopped worrying.
And as it turns to autumn on my March day I catch sight of my reflection in the double glazing with my necklaces from then and now. A double set repeated, normally not visible, but in this light, at this angle through the raindrops and the dust I can see the things beyond.
Later he wrote into the patio dirt with the bright noisy power washer. He laughed at the mud we generated, he soaked me and washed the windows and in gloves way too big for him he scooped while I patted. The rich fresh earth smelt good, the roots breathing, untangling, finding a new place, stretching tentatively in their new found direction.
As I wait for the water to stop I glance around the garage, our old big fridge that used to be full of made up milk feeds by his bachelor cupboards, worn grubby with age and histories, stiff drawers packed with essential nonsense, a younger writing from when it lay ahead of him, And our son’s blue bike that we hurried behind easing him into finding his balance, just like his dad before him. And he wobbled then and we wobble now and we still need stabilisers as I stand amongst our dusty cobwebs, our crumpled mess of memories. Outgrown obsolescence. Out of the house but still attached.
And it’s cold and wet and evening is pushing us inside.
I turn the tap tightly
Tomorrow is coming.
Yesterday March 5th
I will be here tomorrow morning too
Stood in the glare of the sun, brambles catch me as I go by. It’s bitter but the rays strip the clouds across and above, the traffic moves freely, the wind cuts into my neck, time for my table. Crossing the bridge. I will come back this way. I pull some gauzed seeds from the enticing thicket, it resists me and I pull till its free. It’s smooth black tips torn from their potential. I stand for a while on the bridge staring into the oncoming traffic, shielding my eyes from the dazzle. I loosen my grip and the seeds are carried from behind through the railings and disappear into the morning. And now I stand higher up I can see more from over here. Can see beyond the cathedral to a place I’d barely spotted before. Despite spring sunshine the bitterness from yesterday’s short cruel snow remains and I understand winter isn’t over yet. I pick my route with care and get to the table. The icy wind competes and almost wins over the sun on my back. My hands are buzzing, it feels so different today, the wood will take ages to warm up.
And in the light of my March morning all things fade to a being with my soul, a four count rhythm and the memories of their words.
It’s time to go
Surrounded by every second and memory of our life crashing swirling dancing, cradling hurling sneaking, bashing and forcing themselves around me.
I can’t do anymore
I need to be
I wait for the doorbell
Today March 6th
I don’t know where to be today, how to be
The bench is too wet
The ground slippy muddy icy
The wood pidgeon still trying to direct me, it’s shadow circles round, Icy air blows through me, I feel yesterday’s immense pain hovering and want to find a place to be. My shadow is still long, the mist has gone, the whirring feathers beat air past me.
I want to write here until I feel nothing. Until I can’t hear the bird call, the squealing children, the buzzing roads, the humming underground, the tweeting on top, their impatience piercing, the hurried children, the abstract banging, the hollowed cry, the heavy sound of a world still churning and a child screaming on the wind. And I only have white heat at the end of my arms and I want to write until it stops, until I can’t move anymore, until there’s nothing left and the engine throttle disappears taking me with it and I’m in bright open physical pain mirroring the endless emotion while the birds delight in their existence.
I am frozen I am pain I am here
The pidgeons are on lookout behind me. My ears are ringing under the wafting bird flight, lorry reversing, plane throbbing, winter bareness persisting.
Time to negotiate the steps in front of me.
And under the bridge I walk past the shuffling old man that he didn’t become and nod to the cloud of perfume from the old world and round the back now appreciating warmth and feeling the pull of our garden. And I stand beneath the tree we could see from our window, the sun warms my frozen face, the shadows are still stretched out under the sirens and brushing wheels. The leaves and litter are carried regardless.
Time to return