The Long Journey To Claiming Books

I was brought up to treat books as sacred. They were a source of knowledge. You get your education and you’d have choices in life. You’d move on in the world. Have a better life than your parents before you.

Books were the gateway into this Paradise.

Each week, we would walk into town from our maisonette, along the busy dual carriageway. Once in town, we’d go to the market, to the one book stall and pick out a book. They were the tradition fairy tales with pictures and text.

If not them, then Enid Blyton books. For some reason, I felt the importance of books and the connection of them to my dad. He’d read us bedtime stories and I’d just love to be in his presence then. As he was softer and loving. Different from the angry man he was at all other times.

For some reason, who knows what goes through a child’s mind, I took to doodling in one of these fairy tale books. I want to say it was Snow White, but I could wrong.

A whole heap of scribbles and doodles took over the pages of this book. Why use the book when I had plenty of blank white paper? As I said who knows what goes through a child’s mind.

I just know that my father found the book and shouted at me with rage. And beat me. I’d done something wrong. I’d ruined the book. I’d ruined my chances of getting on in the world. I’d gone against the unwritten rule( or was a spoken one?) around how to respect books.

Older now, I hunt for books. I buy my own books. I read then. Some I don’t. Some I keep or give away. And some I purposefully, consciously make the decision to repurpose. Reclaim them.

I tear out pages and I cut these up. I smear paint on the pages left in the book. I stick images in them, tape, stickers. And yes I write in them. I write out my hopes and fears. My desires and dreams. My memories and traumas.

I think I was brought up right. To treat books as sacred. But it’s what you do with those books that count, I think. And a book has multiple uses/ purposes. I think. Multiple ways and means of instilling knowledge and opportunities and freedom.

It’s been a long journey for me to get to this point of choices. But I claim them all.

A Love Letter to the Sea

Oh my. I have missed you. My life. I didn’t know how much until I re-entered you again this morning at first light.

My soul began to hum again and then began to sing once more. I’d almost forgotten what she sounded like. I’d almost forgotten myself.

There was colour in my life but not technicolour; fizzy, vibrate reds and oranges and yellows and turquoise. These singing colours have been missing until this morning. Thank you.

I do feel cleansed and purified and detoxed and lighter. My skin is stinging. My feet are tingling. I might well lose the sensation in my toes but it was worth it to get back together with you.

You hold me captive but not against my will. You just keep coming at me. Light upon a crest of a wave. A constant. Washing a little bit more of me with each cold, cold caress. Until I can take no more. And I don’t mean I leave you. No. It means I need more of you, all of you. All over me. So I sink down and take you in, all over me. The pain and pleasure mingle together to escape into a deep guttural sigh. Relief and release. Joy definitely.

But also a sacredness which colours me with grace and gratitude and love.

I’ve never through of us together as a spiritual experience. But this is the most holiest of communions for me. Nothing else compares to this, not even sex.

Here I can take you whenever I want or need. But this is not possession. There is no possession of you because you are wild and free. What it is is a surrender. Almost like praying. An appreciation and inspiration. A giving of thanks. An admiration. You are so beautiful to be with. With your dark seeping liquid, this morning like mercury, tomorrow maybe like glass.

You fill me up with love and goodness and joy. And it’s the kind of love, I want to share. It’s the kind of love from which patience and compassion flows freely. There are no obstacles, boulders in its path. It gushes this love. At times like a geyser and at others like a waterfall. Never ending, always flowing from source to sea.

Or should I say seas as you are never the same sea twice. And for which I am in awe as well as in deep appreciation.

I know I depend on you but I never knew how much until now. Until this moment. This time I come to you bruised and wounded and scared and without hope.You have renewed my hope. You have blessed me with you just being you.

I planned to be with you this morning and I made it happen. But you did all the work that needed to be done almost effortlessly. You made me whole again. You healed me. Thank you.

ten:one

1. He goes into the bathroom and slams the door.
2. The candle flickers in the draft.
3. My shirt with black blobs of paint is creased.
4. The coffee beside me smells hot.
5. I curl my legs up under my bum and feel my muscles stretch.
6. A car drives past outside.
7. There is cloud. There is weak light.
8. A fine drizzle speckles the window.
9. The central heating rumbles into life.
10.The house groans in its spaces.