Book It In

I wrote this under the strong influence of wine because my conscience kept telling me that nobody was going to read a piece about book club. Well maybe it’s not about who reads it, but more the fact that I needed to write it, because I’m a passionate advocate of reading and connection. People should read. Children especially should read. For fun or for education, reading is the gateway drug to knowledge on a euphoric plane of something outside of us. (No, I do not condone children taking drugs.) (insert eye roll here).

People should connect on any level that best suits them. These days its mostly behind a small screen at our finger tips but for some, those that aren’t tech savvy and still enjoy the feeling of paper between their palms and people face to face, it’s all about books and connecting on a physical level. It’s all about Book Club Baby!!!!

I implore you…

Read fiction, so you don’t have to be in your own head all the time. Allow yourself the opportunity to delve into something totally relatable and laughable, or unimaginable and mysterious. Sometimes, our busiest days, days of laundry, traffic lights and phone calls, are the days we need our fiction the most.

Read non-fiction: at the very least just to learn something. Read it for an opportunity to find or enhance your level of compassion and understanding, to walk a few pages in someone else’s shoes, to be warned or to laugh so uncontrollably at the mishaps and misunderstandings of others. To travel, learn a new culture or language.

Read a memoir and find yourself coming out the other end being able to better understand or help a friend, to ask more sensitive questions or to simply relate. Even the saddest stories can make you laugh with appreciation.

Read a self-help book, (not my fave) but hey, we could all do with a little self-help, a little self-love and a little “me” time every now-and-then.

FFS read a comedy!! Force yourself to laugh if it’s the last thing you do. And you can read any of the previously mentioned genres to do that.

Don’t rip the comic books away from your children, or the books about boogas and farts; they’re reading. Don’t scoff at your mates that read romance novels: being able to orgasm just by reading, (no pictures) I applaud both the reader and the author. Don’t walk past the top ten most recommended books because out of fear you are conforming, they all do the rounds and the chances are they are actually good. But in saying that, don’t forget to wander: wander through the aisles of book stores, libraries, news agencies, second hand stores or even a friends book shelf, there is some amazing stuff hidden behind those with big colours, shiny covers and fancy advertising. The best books I’ve ever read were by word of mouth.

But I’m here to talk about book club. Do it. Join it. Create it. Reading a book is one thing but being able to take something that is usually an individual experience and turn it into an event of connection, communication, learning and enjoyment…well…what’s better than that?

We live in a world that is connecting us so deeply with technology that we’re forgetting to connect physically. And you know what, that is ok. But when it comes to good conversation, I like to do it in person; when it comes to drinking wine, I prefer social over closet (most times); and when it comes to delicious snacks, I like it when someone else makes it.

When people think of book club they think of old ladies and for some unknown reason I’ve noticed, knitting. When I found myself in a situation where I knew no one and I had no friend of a friend to connect me to other humans, I joined a book club. Book club gave/gives me a short term, achievable goal in a realistic time frame. It gives me something to look forward to once a month. It allows me to drink wine, eat snacks and indulge in good quality conversation without my toddler tugging at my arm. I can be an adult and use my brain and my personality……I can be myself.

So I urge you,buy, rent, borrow, download, swap, exchange or even write a book. Read, listen or be told a story. And then take it to book club and talk about it. Use the easily attainable book club questions for that particular book to prompt your discussion and go for it. The flow will come naturally. The uneasiness of meeting new people or discussing something outside your daily routine of a nine to five office job or wiping your child’s ass and crying into your coffee cup, will disappear within seconds of someone asking ‘So, what did you think of the book?’

 

 

Infinity And Beyond

Her thoughts went dark: to a place that bared no window. There was no air to provide her food for thought: she was settled. Into a dust that had fought a storm, a dust that rested on a ground of lost adventures. She was done. She was defeated. Arms splayed for forsakenness, she had to remind herself of her needing: who would call her name as she turned to sand? Who would cup her into a vase and carry her across the desert to a cool salvation? Who would hold her, until her true end?

Only time.

Only time could hold her.

Spilt Milk

Maybe he scribbles on his arms because mummy and daddy are covered in scribble. Maybe he does it because it tickles as the tips run along his soft, bare skin. Maybe, just maybe, he does it because he keeps being told to draw on paper, and paper is just a flat, boring surface that doesn’t tickle and doesn’t look like mummy and daddy. Either way, it’s a step up from drawing on all the walls.

I can think of far worse things to trouble myself over.

For example, flies in my wine.

 

It Takes A Village

The rumour is, that the village is gone and motherhood is lonely. There are many days this rumour feels undoubtedly real, BUT the village is still there, you just have to be open to it; you have to let it in as much as you want it to let you in.

On some days the village is the park, where you make small talk with strangers trying to make their shopping list on their iPhone as their children wrestle them as if they are still in the lounge room. It’s times like this when a villager takes action and pushes their own child over with the others, separating the herd from their parents and dragging the mother to safety. “Come with me, let’s talk smack about motherhood for a while”. Yesterday my village was only made up of two, and we told horror stories about the emergency caesareans we endured and how we desperately want more children, tipping our heads back and laughing at how ridiculous our “biological urge” is, or as recent studies have argued, our “psychological urge”. (That’s a whole other conversation.)

On other days the village is the pool or the sport of the term; gymnastics, athletics, dance. The villagers stare at each other silently, they are so sure they want silence, they are so sure that they don’t want to make small talk or get into another deep discussion about why their child is still shitting under the table while demanding privacy when of course he could get all the privacy he wanted if he just went to the fucking toilet. The villagers try to escape eye contact by escaping into their phones as their children run, swim or frolic like a bunch of uncoordinated psychos. But it only takes one; one overheard comment, one caught glance or one unintentionally loud exhale to get the relatable acknowledgement from some or the entire group. And before you know it, you are walking back to the car, smothering your child in kisses with the knowledge that you are not the only mother trying to coax your child out from the dining room table as they conduct one of their many daily bowl movements.

On most days, the village is digital. I consider this the biggest village by far, the easiest to access and the most private. A village made up of mummy bloggers of both the super mum and the super honest: A village of grandeur or slap dash recipes: A village of the motivated or the recluse: A forum for all. On the days when leaving the house just seems all too hard, I am thankful for the digital village and it’s ability to keep me connected to the world.

If you are not prepared to call on your village, the village is privy to the signals of need; a look of apology as your child hits another, shoulders removing themselves from your ears as your child finds a friend to play with, a ‘like’ on a specific post. We are all secretly and some times unconsciously hinting towards a village, hoping they’ll pick up on our vibes and let us in.

It takes villagers to create a village – look up, look around.

Be a villager; For the sake of your sanity.

Dressed in pearls

She wrote with her soul disguised as her ego. Her truths rolled out cloaked in rubber, bouncing pleasantly off people’s judgements. Had she’d been brave enough, her soul might have said ‘I’m crying’.

Instead of smiling.

But she wasn’t brave.

Yet.

Sharing Space

She woke; baby breath blowing gently on her cheek and tiny fingers reaching knowingly in the dark for the comfort of a mothers presence. Stiff as a board she remained so as not to wake him but instead to stare at him through the slits of her morning eyes. So still and so quiet she took a moment to embrace the lack of space his tiny body provided while in her bed, her feet cold and without a pillow, this tiny person, consuming her world.

He was her world.

 

Got the Look

She wrapped a scarf of blue winter around her hair, looped her lobes with golden sun and kissed the mirror with warm blood.

She winked, a smirk in her crow’s feet and a dare in her flare.

She looked like a rainbow.

But indeed she was the pot of gold.