Sunday, 2 March 2008

Stay dry, Replenish your Spirits

I’ve made a wonderful soup with bacon, leeks, pasta and fresh, finely chopped rosemary. All stewing in chicken stock. It is the kind of soup that can thaw people out, relax them. It speaks into the mouth that is eating it, “you see, you’re feeling better already. I knew you would.” Listen to the soup; it knows what’s good for you.

I’ve got the start of a new story but I don’t know where it goes:
She was one of those women whose features had been steadily massaged by years of grief, her eyes and cheeks drooping like pallid dough. When she looked in the mirror she half expected her chin to swell and drop off like batter from a spoon. Her flesh belonged in a lava lamp, searching for buoyancy.
****************************************************************************
We have reached March, and once again I am desperate for spring. The wind has been relentless, the rain just an added attempt to make us all assume that we will never experience comfort again. Today the sky reminded me of a resentful teenager who is keen to witness the agony of others. If I’m to be miserable, then so will you. I threw away another umbrella this afternoon. I left its soggy corpse on top of the rubbish bin outside the Sainsbury’s, it’s spider web joints weakened by the constant battering. Over and over it had been turned inside out, until all it took was one tiny puff and it would flip again, and I would have to begin the dance of trying to turn into the ever changing wind so that my flimsy colourful protector could set itself right again.

I resist taking out the giant golf umbrella, which I borrowed from work and have yet to return. I’ve been keeping it in the corner near the door, but every time I think of using it, I get an immediate image of myself being lifted off the pavement and into the sky. I’m no Mary Poppins; I know I would just be swept high enough to fly over the nearby bridge in time for the train to hurtle past. Splat! Like one of those terrible Garfield dolls for cars, the kind with the suction feet that stick to the window. I never imagine any blood - my body becomes rubbery like a flattened Toon from Roger the Rabbit. The only thing missing is for the driver to lean out the window and bash me over the head with an enormous hammer that springs out of his cufflinks, causing me to peel off and float down to traffic below, swaying like a feather to my doom.

It is also unlikely that I will invest in the newest invention for wet climates: the hands-free nubrella (see above image). You strap it on like you would a backpack, enclosing yourself in a sheer, half bubble of tough plastic. The ads show a cyclist wearing one as he hurtles down the street, and a woman in a power suit on her way to the office. It’s all very George Jetson, and I don’t think it will catch on any time soon. Although I already sense that Kryce will want one. At least we could all count on him to come up with some exciting new designs. I would want to tint mine, so I could see out but no one could see me. That would be cool.

Living in Edinburgh I am not as close to the small signs of spring that were everywhere in Linlithgow. I miss watching the buds swelling on the branches. The city just seems to amplify the unyielding greyness of things. Across the street there is a small park where some small flowers are growing. My mother could probably tell you the Latin name for them, but I only know they are purple and yellow and that when the sun does peek out, their petals take on the sheen of wet satin.

In other news, I’ve been writing. Yesterday I managed to finish a story. It took more than four hours but I was happy that I didn’t let myself quit, which is what I usually do. In just over two weeks I will be starting my “Creative Web site design for Beginners” course. This is something I feel I need to do, to increase my practical skills. It can only serve my creativity, is what I tell myself.

Finally, I wish I could give Mikara a bowl of soup. Just take her away for ten minutes and let her taste it. There is relief built into this soup, a kind of grounding energy that replenishes stores of faith and humour. I miss you, Moe. Thinking of you.
So-

3 comments:

Brian in Mpls said...

One of my favorite things is making soups on sundays :)

Lauren said...

Wow, you think my blog is great? Your blog is amazing. You're inspiring.

your new best friend said...

Thanks amie :) I am sure it was what miraculously lifted me out of the rut i was in. One sip and i was hooked.
oh, and the umbrella...it would be placed around the nether regions i am sure...