No more family. No more friends. No more sunsets. No more wildflowers.
Yes, that includes you dear Candy Flower, Purple Loosestrife and Wild Iris. All I wish to inhale now is silence and a smooth, white page.
No more incessant pancake stacks. No more bacon and maple syrup, blueberry compote and butter and lemon. No more asparagus, no more avocado. No more pie and no more ice-cream. No more wine or apple cider. No more s’mores. No more s’mores!
I am full and have only space now for silence and a smooth, white page.
No more walks and no more clambering. No more hills and no more descents. No more mud and no more driftwood. No more skimming stones or shifting sands. My bones are tired and I can barely manage my way right now into silence and this smooth, white page.
No more talk.
No more gossip and no more catch-ups. No more smalltalk. I’m so mortifyingly terrible at it. Pretty soon I start to feel so unlike myself and – then – dislike my self.
No more delayed flight announcements, no more last calls. No more passport control. No more shoes and belts off, laptops in a separate tray and toothpaste in a ziplock. No more alarms and no more engines and no more turbulence and no more talk and no more talk and no more talk.
My head is heavy with sounds and jumbled with the thoughts and sensations of a fortnight unreflected upon and unrecorded. Every day, so much to say but left unsaid for lack of time and space and the silence in which to sit down with a cup of something hot and a smooth white page.
I went home. I went home. I came home. I came home.
In the interstices between those sentences lies so much I wish to make meaning of.
But I haven’t had a minute, a moment, a maybe now, maybe now. I haven’t come close to silence these past two weeks and my soul is crying out for a smooth, white page.
The days have all been life, life, life.
Old haunts and the voices of my dear familiars. My father, my mother, my sister, my brother. Kind friends. Sweet friends, inspiring friends, much missed friends. Some streets whose names I had forgotten, some favourite places closed down now, the rents are high in Dublin and there’s a hard edge to the city I come from. Realisation that I’ve forgotten how to weave. I jostled and excuse me’d my way down Dublin’s cobbles and alleys, as though I grew up on a prairie. I lament this loss more than I can explain right now.
Upon my coming home from home: salamanders and frogs in the pond. Beehives and shepherd puppies and foxgloves and roses. The demands of work and the cries (and giggles) of babies. Kisses and caresses and lingering stares – those other things the soul does long for.
Do not mistake this for a litany of woes. Kisses and friends and frogs in the pond are among the deepest desires of my heart.
A minute or – an hour, only an hour. To think about it all, to write parts and pieces of it down, to make sense of some things, to remember, to fashion a story from what fragments remain. To sift and sort, to order my thoughts. To make space for what’s to come. There is so much to come.
And in the much-to-come, I need to be me. I need to carve out time and space for silence and a smooth, white page.
Always I walk on the edge of desiring to live and needing to say something about the living that is being lived. As strange as it may be for you – or even me- to comprehend, I wandered too far into the land of the living these past few weeks and tonight I simply had to scramble my way out or I felt like I would scream or cry.
There is the land of the living – friends and family and food and laughter, talking and walks and wildflowers – and there is the place where I feel as alive, as real, as much myself as I ever do. And that space is to be found in an hour – or a few – of silence and a smooth, white page.
I’m inching my way back over it.