Sunday, 29 March 2015

"And in that moment, I swear we were infinite..."


When the weather is grey and wet, this city is a mirror. Rooftops slick with rain throw back the sky, and the sky returns the world a thousandfold in its drops. You can see the stars in the street: I love that. I walk through puddles just to shatter constellations, stand and watch them shiver, break apart. They recover, eventually. Everything does. The ripples stop sending themselves out, and the water settles, and there is the whole universe again, burning steadily underfoot, at once infinite and the size of a fireside rug.

Sometimes I am so struck by wonder that it feels like a bruise. Water, and light. Stars, and darkness. Moons, and poetry, and love.

These sweet weekend mornings, when I get to wake up with C, and he absently threads my hair through his fingers while we talk in that soft slow intimate way that you have when you've just swum up from sleep, and snatches of dream are still tugging at your ankles like underwater-weeds.

The long blonde slices of light the sun sends through the blinds to stripe the wooden floors like sleeping tigers.

Those rare days when the sun is snuffed out like a candle-flame between finger and thumb. I stood in the dimness of last week's eclipse, struck dumb by the oddness and the beauty of it all. The light was tea-coloured, and everything was strange, and it felt like the end of the world. I thought,  maybe I've died already, hundreds of years ago, and somewhere in the future, my daughter's daughter's daughter is holding a sepia photo, fingertips finding her shadows in my face, and the bit of me that lives in her, the cells in her blood, the strings of code in her bones, is calling back across the centuries like an echo: hello, hello, hello.....

It seems that magic is everywhere. It is hard to explain. Its not that I'm in love, which is its own wonderful thing and has its own sort of magic, but also has its own particular trail of fears foaming in its wake (what if I lose him, what if my heart breaks, what if I hurt him, what if he doesn't stay). Its not that I'm happy, because happiness, I know, comes and goes like the light does, like the rain.

It's more that I feel whole, somehow. And not from being half or part of something else. I am whole in myself. I'm not sweeping scraps of myself under rugs, or chasing thoughts, like spiders, into corners. There is light in every nook and there is light in every crevice, and if it shows up the dust sometimes as well as the good, at least it's honest.

There are nights when I wake and worry, still, and the second between each clock-tick lasts for days. There are times when the mirror isn't kind, and the old ghosts clank and rattle their chains. But mostly, I am good. Mostly I am grateful.

For the breaths, and the words, and the breakfast eggs. The kisses. The glasses of wine. The church bells that come through the trees on Thursday nights when the ringers have their weekly practice. The scented candles, the sweet plum tomatoes clustered on the vine. The daydreams. The poems I read that go off in my mind like tiny fireworks, glittering, gold.

Today is cold, and the sky is wide and white like a sheet. The rain is flying, a hundred thousand scattered beads, and my wellington boots are on. I have my keys, my woolly hat, my purse.

Contemplate the wonder of your own life. I'm off to shatter the Universe.



  1. So beautifully written Cheryl
    As always
    I am with you in every word..... X

  2. It's an indescribable feeling to open yourself up to the wonders of the world. In particular, I liked this line: "Sometimes I am so struck by wonder that it feels like a bruise." and the one about dreams tugging like underwater weeds. It can hurt to keep the senses so open, but it's so fantastic too.

  3. Woah your words are so wonderful, gahhh
    Continue writing, I'll keep reading xx

  4. This is absolutely glorious....your writing took my breath away.