Reason

(Sun. 22/2/09)

A long, long time ago in a land far away a princess awoke from a deep sleep.

Daylight had begun to filter through the windows casting a tentative finger into the darkened room. Lucy lay still, waiting. Furnishings in the turret room were still in shadow. She could identify every piece without much thought. There, over in one corner, was her mahogany dressing-table with the ornate gilt mirror hanging on the wall above. To the left her wardrobe stood guard, massive in its presence, the four doors stretching over most of that wall reaching almost to the door. To the right of the window a large desk covered in neglected papers occupied all of that side of the wall. From her position she had a clear, unobstructed view of the window although she could see nothing through it for the filmy curtains allowed in light but no image of the outside world.

She waited. Would the sun grow stronger and brighten her waking hours as she hoped? Or were there clouds without that she could not see? She waited. Immobile to any action other than this.

She did not think of anything while she lay staring at the window. All thoughts were kept at bay, locked in a separate tower in her mind. Time would determine further thought and action. The clock sitting on her side-table ticked by the minutes while she lay inert.

Faint noises from the outside began to permeate her senses. The sound of an occasional vehicle passing in the nearby street. A voice not too far-off raised in command to a dog which responded with an obedient bark.

Outside, the world was beginning to come alive.

For Lucy the world could wait a little longer. Perhaps forever.

Still she did not stir. Waiting had become a perfected occupation. If only she knew exactly for what she was waiting.

No night in shining armour would rescue her from this place. She shunned the thought. The light darkened imperceptibly. No one in the room below was demanding her attention. She had nowhere that she had to be other than the space she occupied.

The room had grown darker still. Clouds had begun to encroach on that little measure of light and Lucy tensed her body expectantly waiting for the onset of further gloom.

She was not disappointed. As each tiny, obtrusive thought began to find a foothold in her consciousness the room seemed to grow darker and darker. The ever-present bubble of fear in the belly of her being began to expand. It began to effervesce, shooting thousands of smaller bubbles along her limbs and through her torso. She gulped nervously, knowing that if she did not get a hold on her thoughts and control the spreading fear she would lose this day too.

It was already too late. The bubble from which the others had emanated and spread had grown so large there was nothing for it to do but burst and it did.

She gulped just as the internal explosion occurred. Her mind imploded simultaneously and one great wracking sob escaped in response to the release of pressure. A giant hiccough. A major bout to follow.

Lucy was no longer still. Or waiting. Her body now moved to the tune within. No harmonious melody was this. An orchestral feat of disassembled notes crashed within her mind, clamouring noisily and creating havoc where a tentative peace had existed a short while ago. To this timeless cacophony her body found a steady rhythm of rocking, an infantile attempt to find soothing comfort from regular tempoed motion.

Rocking was only interrupted by short, moaning periods of turning and twisting as she tried in vain to shake off the phantom that presided and filled her with fear.

If this were only a nightmare she could scream for her mother and, in doing so, awake from deathly dreams and be comforted in the arms of one who could soothe and wipe away the fears and tears.

She wept louder because she was not five and this was no dream. She wept louder but still tried to smother it because her mother lay below and Lucy did not want to see her pain mirrored in the eyes of one she loved so well. There was nothing her mother could do. Nothing anyone could do.

These were her dark days. The days of never-ending nights. Of winter without end. Of sunshine never reaching her soul. The mere thought of endless winter nights shook Lucy to her core and her terror and torment were complete.

How could she live in a world where nothing held any hope or sunshine for her? How could she move from this bed, shrouded in blankets but not cocooned in safety? How could fear and loathing and dismal phantoms find her here? She had hidden herself so well, she thought, from the outside world that filled her with dread. Here in her bedroom in the home of her family she ought to feel safe and secure. That had been the thought all those many months ago when she had all but retired from the living. A refuge in this place of safety surrounded by love was supposed to have been the antidote to her malady. But this zombie existence where her half-life only frightened herself and those she let near had never been the intention.

There was no place of safety, no hermitage where she could dwell in harmony with herself. She was her own fears. Everything that filled her with terror lived within her not in that world she had shunned. The torment and the tears belonged only to her. Her spectres were inside her mind, her heart, her soul. They had flowed through her blood and reached every part fed by it. She was the living embodiment of her own nightmare.

She screamed then. ‘Leave me alone! Give me peace!’

A sudden sound below made her realise her anguished cry had not been internal. Her mother soon would appear and Lucy could not bear, even in these extremities, to inflict that pain.

She gathered every ounce of will she could muster to control her precarious mental balance.

A light knock and the door moved swiftly inward. In seconds her mother was on the bed beside her, cradling her in her arms, rocking her and shushing gently in her hair.

Lucy wept louder. They both knew this physical comfort was only that. Mental anguish is not so easily assuaged. But still, there was comfort.

Wrapped in the arms of love the sobs subsided gradually. Petted and patted, the gloom dispersed. Each, ‘there, there’ chased the phantoms to their hidden closets. In her fingers, in her toes, in her belly, in dark, secret corners of her mind and the blood vessels within her heart. They crept away, diminished by the presence of love.

Only this immediate presence of love had that effect.

She knew they would return, that they would wait for a vacant moment, a vacuum to fill. In the dark days. In the lonely hours. In the empty minutes of each day. They would stay hidden till the next time. Shorter and shorter periods between each time. So short now, they seemed ever-present.

These enemies of life, these fear-filling suckers of life source were resident in her body. She had given them house room. Only she could evict them.

All this now known to her. The ever-eluding question was how? How to banish the deepest darkness? In the absence of sunshine? A bulb? A candle? One small match? A flint to strike the first blow?

A reason to live. A purpose to her being. A command to which her mind and soul would respond.

The now tiny bubble in her belly fizzed hesitantly. Dare it? Was this a good moment?

Still wrapped, but no longer shuddering, in her mother’s arms, she sighed deeply. One huge sigh. And another.

‘Mum, I have to find my purpose. My reason. For being here, I mean.’

‘That’s a good place to start,’ whispered her mother and tightened the hug for a few short seconds before releasing her to start a new day.

Letter to Mum

(7/2/10)

Dear Mum,

I can’t give this to you or send it but maybe if I write something down it will help me and, if I can clarify my thoughts and feelings, I’ll be able to talk to you.

There’s a hole in me that’s you-shaped. I miss knowing you; knowing that you’re down the road, physically present. I miss not being able to show my love for you. The love I had and have for you – only for you – has nowhere to go. The love of a child for its parent is exactly that. Where can I send it? It isn’t lost. It hasn’t gone. But I’ve nowhere to give it or send it.

Maybe when Dad died I was able to take that love and give more of it to you. But you’re both gone now and the love is trapped inside of me. It wells up and makes me cry.

Maybe without your own parents and without my Dad you took all of that love and transferred it to us – your children and your grandchildren. I felt the measure of that love and I miss that too.

How exactly were you able to transfer it? If that is what you did. Or maybe no – one ever can. Some loves are just for some people. The love I have for all the people in my life stems from the same source but the difference is there in each one.

I want to reach out my arms to you and hear you speak to me. But I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what I’ll hear and that I won’t cope with your words. Maybe you’re already speaking and I’m refusing to listen.

How Many

How many pounds of money

Make you happy

How many pounds of weight lost or gained

Wrest happiness from your grasp

How many lost moments of joy

Never to be recaptured

How many occasions

For success

And happiness

Bypassed in the quest that is life

(20/5/10)

How Can I Love Them More?

How can I love them more than I do?

How can I show them they are the world to me?

What more can I do than I already do

To allow my love to grow in them?

I could spend more time in pleasures with them

Instead of always bemoaning the housewife realities.

The chores I take upon as mother

Drown the time I could have as mum.

To share with them time spent in books and games and pleasures

To picnic on the floor and not to mind the mess

To laugh when they laugh and not to heed the rest.

To expect and to receive some time alone for me

And for them when they have need of it.

How can I love him more?

How can I show him that he means so much to me?

To be there with my arms open and not on my hips.

To speak softly more often than shrill.

To welcome his loving advances and to make some.

Not to count the cost as time lost,

In terms of work still needing done.

These are just some.

(6-1-02)

Apologies

Apologies to any followers. I’ve just realised I may be flooding your page if what I write on mine appears on yours. Does it? I’m busy uploading poems and stuff and going at it enthusiastically. Really what I’m trying to do is build my page but am I going about it wrongly if everything I write appears on another’s blog without them searching for it? I’m so new to this – just a couple of days- I could be offending without realising. So sorry if I am. Please let me know and I’ll try to figure out how to upload without it flooding yours. That’s if it is.x

From Whence I Came

In a moment

I will be accepted

Or rejected.

I want to be affirmed

As part of the family

Of God

From whence I came.

Prior to conception

I sat in His presence

Awaiting the call

To human life.

I bring joy to the faces

Of those I call parents

But I know

From whence I came.

Baptise me now

I need the grace

To go through this earthly life.

Those who tend me

May or may not

Have the faith to build me

And make me aware

In the years when I forget

But just now I know

From whence I came.

Until the call Home

Comes

And I remember

The face of the One

I will forget.

I need His help now

For what lies ahead

Confirm my present awareness.

For when I look far away

Into the corners of rooms

And they ask sweetly if I see fairies

I wish I could tell them

And make them know

That I see the face

Of the One

From whence I came.

So please don’t deny me

My baptism of love

Because my parents have doubts.

I do not need their faith

I do not need mine

For I know

From whence I came.

(29-10-1997)

Frank Sleeps

My husband waits

Asleep in bed

His hand supports

His weary head.

His body cries its need of rest,

Still another need

Lies in his breast.

This need shall be aroused in me

When I slip beside him quietly.

I’ll take his head upon my breast

And though he has a need for rest

His ardour will become a flame

He will call his wife by my own name.

And when his passion is all spent

He’ll fall to sleep, be heaven-sent.

And this new rest

Will fell his head

Upon his pillow – soft yet firm.

And I will have had my need of him.

(6-1-02)

A Life Well-Lived

Pope John Paul II

What more to wish

A life well-lived

A beacon in the night

A man of honour, justice, truth

A bright and guiding light.

What more to wish

A life well-lived

Courage and fortitude

A man of wisdom in God’s ways

Holy – simply good.

What more to wish

A life well-lived

An example to Mankind

Teaching, loving, suffering

God’s path in life to find.

What more to wish

A life well-lived

Honour where it’s due

He took his cross and carried it

For all – that’s me and you.

What more to wish

A life well-lived

God’s truth here to impart

To reconcile and show the way

To heal the human heart.

What more to wish

A life well-lived

To love and serve Our Lord

To lead Mankind to peace on earth

And lead us to our God.

What more to wish

A life well-lived

Has found its own reward

To rest beside his Mother

In the presence of Our Lord.

What more to wish

This life now gone

His example is not lost

His beacon shines, God’s peace to all

Mankind can count the cost.

What more to wish

If only this

His ways become ours too

Faithfulness, love and sacrifice

More we cannot do.

(5-4-05)