Guess what I finally got my hands on today?! My author copy of Living While Feminist, the book I have a story in. I’m currently sipping on some bubbles and cradling it in my hands because I’m a published author guys! Everything was delayed with the publication and printing over lockdown – it was supposed to come out in March! But finally this powerful little book is heading out into the world and you can buy one people (there’s also an ebook if that’s your thing).
I’d like to talk about a feeling that is quite difficult to articulate, so forgive any rambling while I get there. My brain is not firing on all cylinders lately, and so finding the words is harder. It takes longer. This is hugely frustrating for a writer. Or any creative really. I feel a bit useless.
Like when someone designs a teapot, an item which is meant to make and pour your tea. But then when you try and actually pour the tea out, the spout doesn’t work properly, so the hot tea goes everywhere but where it’s supposed to go – in the cup. Your hands are burnt from the hot water and it’s a huge frustrating mess. Because what is the point of a teapot that doesn’t make tea properly? I’m that teapot at the moment.
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.
As we sit at home, I suppose it’s natural that I’m thinking more about travel these days. All the places I’ve been. If I’ll be able to go to other places I’ve always wanted to go in the future. I don’t know exactly how this pandemic will change our lives moving forward, but I do know that it will change things. Will we still be able to travel the globe as easily? Will we still want to?
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.