Wish

Find me something to do so that it absorbes me

And I forget about unhappiness

Meet me on a shore and make me laugh

So that I feel like living, again

Touch my inner being with the light of your presence

And I shall not feel lost

In this universe of void and deadly wishes.

Be with me

So that I learn to be with you

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That little thing inside

I was just like her.

I have glimpses of me laughing happily in the park and on the hills. Somewhere amidst green and sun, light dancing around me and it felt so natural, I didn’t think about it. Now, I do. It’s a good thing we have memory, it allows us to relive beauty which we did not grasp fully in the past. There’s gratitude in that.

There are so many memories of what came after. Gradually. First, as surprise – a bad one. Words of blame. You didn’t do this, you are not that good. I didn’t understand, I really was trying my best. So I tried harder. It gave me joy to try, and confidence. Whenever I made it, I felt triumphant. And then out of the blue: you are not good enough. Again. Little did I know at the time it was not me who they blamed, it was their own incapacity and lameness and lack of courage. So little by little, they crushed me. One here, another one there. I was giving in, inside, collapsing. I kept a face. Cynicism crept in. Anger bubbled. I got to be a mess inside.

Like a magnet, I had attracted shit for years. Got prizes on the outside, failed inside. Even now, people say I look sexy, exceptional, I pass as a succes. Nobody really knows how broken I am.

She was the first one to tell me, after many many years, “you are the most wonderful person in this entire world and I am so grateful God gave you to me and me to you.” She came to me in my darkest hour and, unwilling as I was, turned my world alight again. Do you know how happy she is? She radiates, all the time. Her laughter fills rooms and voids and plazas and all of my inside. Cyclical, isn’t it. What used to be inside me and now is outside, fills my inside with joy. Does that mean that I get another chance?She is me, in another time.

I pray to God she is much much happier.

Doggy Bathroom

I get a design newswire by subscription every now and then. Today, among the featured pieces was a doggy bathroom: a plastic white rectangular box with a cut entrance in which a dog can go pee and poo. It’s advertised for dogs too small to go outside in bad weather or too “senior” to abstain until they’re taken out for the walk. It can be used inside the house or placed in the garden. Now why on earth would you put a doggy bathroom in the backyard instead of covering the poo with dirt? I guess dog owners have nothing better to do than clean up shit. No, really, they really don’t.

Which begs for commentaries regarding the pet craze nowadays, to begin with. Pets are the new kids around the block, and they are truly worshiped more than kids. Why, their owners either resigned themselves to not being able to have kids (and instead of adopting or helping others’ kids, they “adopt” an animal), or refused to have kids in the first place because… I don’t know, kids are too much trouble? Who the heck knows what’s in these people’s heads to fall in love with an animal like that?

Pets are commissioned portraits these days, did you know? I’m connected on the professional social media with a very talented artist who doesn’t shy away to get fools’ money. Pets are put in hotels and spoiled with clothes and toys, they’re fed granules (no cooked or raw food, they have “allergies”?) and God forbid they get sick or you’ll have to give up your food – and quite possibly rent/mortgage payment – for their vet bill and medicines.

Does anyone remember, I wonder. In the old sane days, human beings kept animals for physical need. Cows give milk, poultry give eggs, pigs and the afore mentioned give meat, oxen and horses pull ploughs, dogs protect, cats catch mice and squirrels… get the idea? Unlike domestic animals, pets are kept for psychological need – some would even argue, spiritual need. They “give” love. That is of course the0 greatest illusion because animals do not love. Love is par excellence a human attribute, it is a conscientious decision of bonding, of belonging. Love is directly linked to words. And animals, in case you pet owners haven’t noticed, do not speak. Parrots? Puh-lease!…

I am appalled though not surprised by the appearance of the doggy bathroom. Somebody was smart enough, like my dear artist acquaintance, to get stupid people’s money. Guess what? It’s patent-pending too! Too good of an idea to let proliferate freely. And why not? The doggy bathroom will possibly prove good for the pet owners too – after all, they’re not exactly human.

Womb

A thought before I go to bed. It struck me earlier this evening and it just stayed with me. How wonder-ful to be a woman. To carry a child inside, to give birth and see this new life evolve, evolve… change day by day, year by year. How truly awe-some to be able to do that, to be there, to say “yes” – and then to carry on saying “yes”, at times being too tired or angry or sad to do so willingly. To be there. Here, to hold. Here, to kiss and comfort, to embrace. To be together.

There’s nothing whollier, nor holier than making humans. I was looking at my youngest this evening and I could almost hear my love, growing like a tree, making funny crackling noises inside me, expanding and erupting from my chest… all because of her beautifully proportioned face, her happy smile, as I listened to her reading aloud from her storybook. Words cannot describe the pure feeling. It stays a mystery then.

Amidst of this, I remembered my other two. How small they were when I first held them, how grown up they are now. This journey of giving life, over and over again, not just when birthing but on the dark days when despair had crazily engulfed me, when they were my only reason to stay alive, not out of love but out of duty. Those were the days when they carried me inside and it felt good. It was good.

And so is this life for all of us. We are inside a womb that we cannot see, but we feel it, we know it. We’d stay there forever if possible. It’s protection and love we crave from conception to the grave and beyond. Love makes us, love supports us, love grows us. Love does not let us die. As long as love, we are eternal. How can a thought be also a feeling?

Jewels

“I’m going to Toronto tomorrow” – I said to my husband as we were tucking ourselves into bed on Christmas night.

“What? Why?”

He was quite surprised, as I knew he would be.

“Because I want to see an exhibition.”

“What?” – he said again – “what do you mean?” He was getting lost by the word.

“An exhibition. Of shoes.”

“Why?” Now, you’d think he’s stupid. He’s not, generally. Some things, he just doesn’t get.

“They’re Manolo shoes. It’s quite an occasion to see many of them together. I expect it’s a nice exhibition. Special one. I like the Bata Shoe Museum, they put on good shows.”

“And how long will you spend there?”

“At the museum? I don’t know… about half an hour… an hour? It can’t be a big exhibit, the museum itself is quite small.”

“So you’re gonna drive five hours to Toronto and five hours back just to see an exhibition for half an hour?” He was incredulous. Yep, totally lost. I sighed.

“Yes, dear. Some things are worth the drive. Plus, we’re spending the night, so I’m not driving ten hours the same day.”

“Who’s ‘we’?” Now, doubt crept in.

“Our first born is coming with me. Mother-daughter bonding time. And Boxing day shopping. Since you never take me and you also question my taste. Come to think of it, too bad there’s not another guy available for the trip. Never mind. We’ll have fun.”

I could almost hear the disagreement in his head. What I did hear was

“Why would you drive ten hours for an exhibition?…”

I switched off my bedside lamp and tried to think of niceties. Oh, why on earth did I marry …. no no, niceties. Tomorrow will be nice.

It was, actually.

Just a few photos of the event. Aren’t they just jewels? Perfectly displayed. Tiffany-like. A feast to the eyes. A splash of colour in a tired world. Joy. Joy. Joy.

We strolled on Bloor street afterwards, my daughter and I. Popped inside Holt Renfrew. “I just loooove department stores…” she said. It sounded dreamy. Just like floating carts. And three thousand dollar suits. And Gucci tattooed ladies.

Then, off to the Eaton center. We bought a yellow jacket for her and two cardigans for me (mine were for truly ridiculous prices and I kinda needed them, no kidding). So, happy.

Place was totally packed. Joy? But the place sure looked sparkly.

Famished, we crashed at Cactus Club Cafe on Adelaide. Truffle oil fries. Cocktails. Four mushroom steak. Salmon pasta. A treat to the end.

We did enjoy it, you know. Every bit of it. It stayed with me long after we arrived home. Plus que mon ventre, my soul was full. Sparkling, floating. And no, he didn’t even ask to see photos. Oh well, his loss.

The Penguin Wife

Fresh snow outside

Quiet, as always is the first of the season

Too beautiful to let pass

I want to ask you out for a walk

And for the fewest of seconds

I believe it’s worth asking

Then last night creeps in

And my ear rings with

I just want quiet

Is this all you want

No togetherness

Silence – yes, that’s what I get

What if I give you a box of silence

For Christmas

With my ring in it

I did find another one which fits, you know

What good is it to have the old reshaped

Aren’t you worried about money

So there

You get silence – and freedom! – at the price of savings

No better deal

It’s still snowing a perfect white outside

And I might go for a walk

In my dreams

The day begins

The humming begins

The snow stops

And I never got to ask you out

Have you noticed?