So many feelings, but so difficult to express them. They sit bundled up beneath her skin, like flies trapped against a window. Like a tangle of white cords, with nowhere to plug into. Is this how non-writers feel? What do they do with these feelings, if they don’t write them down? Do they disappear back into the body, like a pimple that isn’t popped? Poison sent back down into the self again, because the carrier does not have the means to release it.
It feels like we’ve reached a phase in this pandemic where we have nothing much to say to each other. We started out all cocky and optimistic – things were a novelty. Let’s bake guys! Let’s exercise! Help others! Share memes! But with the end of the long Easter weekend, everything just feels extremely…meh.
We’re starting to get on each others’ nerves. We’ve watched all the things we wanted to. Read all our good books. Work may be trickling in, or not at all, and we’re starting to worry about what the future holds. And then enter home schooling, which began for me today, bringing with it a whole other set of frustrations and challenges.
Put away the glare of worlds within those squares of light
Because we need things we can touch
We need the metallic smell of yeast
The touch of dough in the webs of our hands
The comfort of butter
We need to light candles
on our tables and in our hearts
We need the Autumn sun to leak out of the sky
and into our skin
We need to notice how the clouds are in pieces
How the moon is a rind
Watch the leaves gather in silent groups
as the trees are suddenly unburdened
We need hugs, warm ones. Long ones.
To breathe each other in and to rest there for a bit
Because now we can.
We need to hear voices
Ones we love and miss
Hear their fears and their joys
because we hadn’t really been listening
We need to press pen to paper
Trace words with our fingers
Make the music
Paint the colours
We need soil in our fingernails
To press a seed into the warmth
To watch that green shoot heading
upwards towards the light
Put away that rectangle, which reflects where you are not.
Because we need things we can touch.
There are so many articles, lists, schedules and activities being sent around at the moment that my head is spinning. Yours too? And then there are all the memes saying “you don’t have to be your child’s teacher over this time” – yes, thank you for that, although I had no intention to be. In a list of possible alternative and suitable occupations I know full well that teaching would not come top of my list. Most teachers are patient saints and I am not one of those.
Red for blood that hums with infection
Orange for fruit, to build our defences
Yellow is fear – oozing from our screens.
Green for the fields we can no longer run in
Blue for the ocean’s wet embrace, now beyond our reach
Pink is for wounds. So many that weep
Purple? A heart for courage, perhaps.
We don’t know when this will end, we only know that this is shared.
That we are one somehow.
A trick of the light.
A curve of colour.
A cosmic coincidence.
It was always fragile.
We just forgot that it was.
It wasn’t a talking carpet like the one in Aladdin. There were no furry tassels. It didn’t fly through a dark sky sprinkled with white stars.
Instead, it was heavy and fraying where the edges met the varnished wooden floor. A golden colour that had turned to beige, it had red shapes on it that were now rust, green that had faded to yellow. The carpet was in my parents’ bedroom, down the long passage that creaked. If you knew where the creaks were, you could leap silently from side to side as you tried to escape your room, without anyone hearing. One wrong step though, and the whole house would wake.