Fiction felt a little lost on her these days. The peaks were weak and the endings were unfulfilling. Yes she could pick them up and put them down without having lost all sense of the story line. She could tend to her children, put on the washing or get sucked into the monotony of everyday without losing her place. There are perks to today’s fiction. In these times of busyness, short attention spans and tiny bursts of consecutive minutes, today’s fiction is just enough to make you say, ‘Yes, I read’. But she was lacking. No longer the girl that could sit around all day, head down in a world of other peoples imaginations. Now a woman who wanted to fill those tiny quiet moments with truths, wisdoms, inspiration; She herself, was becoming a whole new genre.
She felt as if she needed to pace.
Pace around the large square patch of shaded grass that she called her front yard.
She needed to walk heel to toe barefoot and feel the sea breeze wafting onto her skin.
She wanted it to blow away the old tapes in her head: fill them with salt until they could no longer wind but instead rust and fall.
She wanted the pacing to steady her heartbeat but not as much as she wanted it to fix something.
That something was too big and perhaps the problem was that she’d been pacing far too long.
She needed to run.
She needed to run so fast that the fear in her shadow would be lost in her tracks, kicked up in the dust.
She needed to run so fast that the goal couldn’t escape her or be at the edge of her fingertips.
It needed to be in her hand.
She needed to hold its tangible proof of her worthy existence.
She stopped pacing.
Looking out toward an ocean that made the world seem far too big for someone so small.
Yet it whispered on white wash, that in fact the world was too small for someone who wants to be so big.
Some days, most actually, you just can’t predict them.
You can’t predict they’ll finally eat a breakfast you’ve suggested and even ask for a second serve, politely.
You can’t predict they’ll believe your lies about there being no lollipops in the cupboard, the ones that magically appear after lunchtime.
You try to suppress the shock and excitement when they think sitting in the trolley for the entire grocery shop is a good idea and when they actually stay asleep from the car to the bed.
The daily grind isn’t always dressed in four walls and a desk. For some, it’s dressed in tiny clothes and waves around a cheeky grin.
I’ll take every unpredictable pleasure I can get.
She was stuck in the best kind of way. At the corner end of the café counter, the warmth of the coffee machine complementing the cool water she sipped. The smell of fresh macadamia muffins and vegetable frittata straight out the oven wafted around her morning and she relaxed her shoulders. The rain fell from the sky, forcing her to look out the window and calculate just how wet she would get if she tried to walk to the car. Dare she leave? She rested her hand on the mighty movements of limbs rolling around in her overconfident belly, the rise and fall of her fingers as each one felt the full force of a tiny human. Leaning back into her cushioned chair she sat, still and quiet.
Dare she leave, when she was stuck in the best kind of way?
It wasn’t that she necessarily missed wine; the coursing of red and white courage poising through her blood stream, making waves of excited energy or smoothing her out like a saxophone player with three day growth and a cheeky grin.
No. She’d hardly thought about it all really.
There have been moments in my life where writing has been as simple as breathing. An inhalation of a spontaneous idea has exhaled through my pencil and onto paper in the form of words. It is those moments, while often far and few between, which propel me forward. When the darkness befalls, dressed in fear, taunting me that skill, talent or even perseverance are all just make believe and that I’ve no right to move or be moved by the power of the written word; I breathe. I breathe in the memories of a poem I wrote that hangs on my mothers’ wall or a simple sample of words that captured a friends feelings and I remember that perhaps there is no skill or talent, but there is absolutely perseverance.
Some days, the act of breathing alone is conjured purely by perseverance.
She walked through halls of paintings leaning against walls. The casualty of their placement gave her permission to run her fingers along the canvas, feel the lumps of paint, the strokes of another person’s vision. Pausing to circle images with her fingertips and stare into the eyes of the muse, she relaxed her shoulders and thought perhaps she too should try leaning against the wall, rather than hanging herself.