A Nuestra Aventura

 

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There goes the sunlight doing its thing, showing me that its still there.  It catches the web from last night’s work outside my window. If I concentrate hard I can see the rainbows in it and beyond the neighbour’s lawn, almost lime in its rays and I imagine how warm the grass must feel.

Since I’ve been sitting here, the shadow has moved up my curtain, it seems so drab now as though the hope that the sun bought has been stripped away to nothing. The walls creak and how a new day is pushing into me and if I don’t move from this spot, the planet will still spin. Even in my stillest form I know my heart pumps blood around my veins, that neurons jump the gaps to make these thoughts and cells renew and die. Its irresistible, a movement despite myself and I wait for the minutes as though there’s something coming, someone coming who will lift me from this place and if I hold out and breathe light small breathes that they will find me, like a crushed flower under foot or the scuttle of a lady bug released from a damp cold stone.

And far away in a place untainted by this morning, I am there. I am dressed in purple and my hair, thicker and darker than now whips and tears around my face in the morning bluster. I am up high and all I can see is the sunlight glinting off the waves and a horizon cluttered with boats. And there was laughter, reverberating in my head, bouncing sound waves around my ears and the anticipate of the moments ahead made me giddy with light and with joy.

My god we were filled with such joy.

***

And a pigeon comes to rest on the car, it pecks and slides down the windscreen, startles itself and flies off again. Today there’s autumn outside, clouds that could carry me far, take me away to Nice, to Cannes where the white sand would seep into my trainers. I’d stand by Matisse’s house and wonder what it would have been like to live there. To get up and paint in that light and the market stalls would be full of fresh loaves and the nectarines would compete with lemons and we’d walk, arm in arm, down cobbled lanes, looking out to where the sea became the sky and then I’d paint. After breakfast, I’d look east and on my dried-out primer I would sketch. I’d use charcoal and notice the boats that bobbed and buffered, there in a light that I remember now, I’d push oil around in swirls, cadmium lemon and scarlet lake up to the edge and no more.

I’d throw the bread crumbs through my window into a warmth welcome of air and pigeons would scuttle and drop down for my gifts out there, back there and not here, there in my South of France on a morning that isn’t this one. Here in the autumn beyond this rain stained glass, by the late wasp that nuzzles at brick and the pigeons peck at the roof of the car, they hop nearer now and look me in the eye. They’re close today, it’s October and they seem to know my name.

And then, there we were, further around the coast, under an untroubled sky, in the back of a cab, to old streets. We wandered lost, we held tight and asked questions.  The sun glared and lit the way as you paused with Guinness while I took our boy’s hand and we explored. Imagine that, far away from this world now, by the fountain that spat out our names and we were there. I wore the cream hat with petals on my tunic and we grinned, young and free into my lens.

That sun which lights the green glass on my windowsill, that burns up hydrogen while I think, is the sun that lit our faces on that day, in those moments that I fold around me now. And I can see the shopkeeper where I bought the sweets for our boy and you were there, sat waiting. We found the bus, we found the docks and the wind whipped around our hair. Then not now, there not here, under Valencian skies.

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Voyage

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She was so excited, you know. The morning air waking her eyes, the chill with a promise of sun. She went to work that day, just for the morning then she left. Her colleagues wished her well and all through the hours that she worked she thought. She went over the folded clothes she’d packed away. She ticked through the documents in her bag. It sat waiting for her on the bed in the light that moved across the duvet, to noon, to the closing of doors.

Her friend was coming to pick her up, to take her and drop her with bags and she was ready. Changed and brushed, bristling with expectation with the possibilities in front of her.
And she stood, she could see it all from where she sat now, where she had stood and the bluster of the docks caught her scarf, it spiralled up around her face, out of control in the gust. Everything was new, strange, bearings to find, sea legs to attach and she thought of her friend who had worked there. He was clear and vivid in his absence and she imagined him grinning – and his laugh.

She was there, you know. She could see her, hair burbling upwards, a thin top because that’s all she would need and she was light. She felt herself sparkle at the edges, like a fraying blanket that comforted in its age. The ends of her pulsed and danced, waves of photons twirled around her and she was free. My God, she was so free.

And in that place, high up over the water shine she was wrapped. She was swaddled in the things she needed and the people who formed her life.
There had never been a moment like it, not that she could recall, where every cell in her form crackled and sparked and she was at the start of something. Her laugh was lifted up by the eddies, carried high in gushing thermals, through the gulls until it it broke. Sound waves scattering fragments of her into the day, into the swell of her world.

And she was there. And she stood. And she could feel every throb in her body as she sits now, cold, looking out towards the window. Wrapped in a parka to shield her from the day. The condensation moving sluggish down the pane, her view blurring through the droplets. And in each burst of water she sees herself, reflected, smiling back. Caught in time, in motion. in that place – when she was who she used to be.

Back there. She stood – she was alive.

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