The Poet

The first time I fell in love, it was in the library. I was in Year 7 and he was in Year 12 (oh the scandal!) so hanging out around everyone else always drew unwanted attention. None of the narks and gossips went to the library at lunch time, so that is where we could meet without scrutiny. I liked to think that the librarian understood our impossible situation and had a soft spot for young love. It seemed all very Romeo and Juliet to me, star crossed lovers, forbidden by family to be together.  His skin was golden brown and his eyes flecked with gray and gold. But it wasn’t his skin or his eyes that made me fall so hard. It was the poetry. That day, he asked me to hold out my hand and close my eyes. He placed two things in my palm. A folded piece of paper, and a tiny heart carved from chalk with the point of a compass. The heart, he told me, had taken all of a double maths period. The poem he’d written last night, lying in bed, thinking of me.

I was moved.  My heart was his. He wrote poetry for me!

 

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A few years later, when time and circumstance had brought that ill-fated tryst to a close, I heard that poem on the radio. It was song lyrics, from a song written long before I ever met him. His declaration of love was a pilfered fake. That moment of perfect romance; plastered on the walls of my gallery of treasured memories, frayed and curled on the edges before dropping to the floor.  A new fissure cracked across the surface of my idealistic heart. It would underscore my opinion of men, along with all the other little and big betrayals. All the while, the books I had read, the movies I had watched, built my romantic hopes until there was no man that could reach them. And eventually, there I was at 23, divorced and bitter. My young husband had gotten our friend pregnant, he had left to live with her and raise their family.  It took a few years, but finally, I saw a counsellor.

“Why do you punish every man you meet for the behaviour of another person?” she asked.  It gave me pause. I realised that I couldn’t go on like that. Dropping all my disappointments at the feet of any man, as if he were solely responsible for the failings of all men.  My man-hating ways had to find some balance. I had to look at people as people, not with the prejudice I had toward their gender. Or be forever alone. At that time, being alone seemed like a fate worse than death.

I spent years looking for a person to spend my life with. Years for learning a great deal about the nature of men and of myself. About how being a ‘victim’ of relationship breakdown is a choice. Bitterness is counterproductive. When things go wrong, we are always equally responsible for how it will play out, no matter how preposterous that might seem. And that I am the only person who can be accountable for my own happiness. I grew up. Poetry isn’t always literary genius, sometimes, poetry is a two word text in the middle of the day: ‘Love you’.

Romance takes many forms, if you care to notice it. A cup of tea when you’re not expecting it. A shared glance about something over the heads of the kids. Or something like this…

 

'Enjoy the day my honey. Love you!'
‘Enjoy the day my honey. Love you!’

Today I have wrestled from our schedule a little bit of ‘me’ time. Time to write, to drink coffee and muse. It’s been a busy school holidays and the kids are off doing fun activities, both on the same day in a little bit of heavenly orchestration. I have loads of jobs to do, but I don’t mind a whit… because I can do them uninterrupted and listening to my own music! I can dance like a ninny around the house and tap out my words into the ether. The hubster knew how much I was looking forward to my day of solitude; he gets it. So when I got back to my quiet kitchen from dropping off the kids, I found his words scrawled across the splash back in the kitchen. They are not borrowed words, they are straight from the heart words, genuine words. Words to make my heart warm.

I am the luckiest of girls to have a guy like that in my life. He is a whiteboard-marker-wielding poet, even if I didn’t know it. 😉

This Sick Chick goes Chic

There is sick, then there is “sic”.   I quite liked the two definitions as they both apply to this post.  And then there is chic. 

sic 1 |sɪk|
adverb
used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original, as in a story must hold a child’s interest and ‘enrich his (sic) life’.
ORIGIN Latin, literally ‘so, thus’.

When you feel like you are wearing a concrete body suit, achieving chic can be a challenge.

Sick chicks still have pride and and many of us, just like women the world over, make an effort to improve what nature has given us…  maybe not as often as we used to, but dressing up is still special! Some of us make a huge effort to show the world a face and present in a way that will enable people not to look too closely.  Maybe even to look and smile.  Even better, to linger on an accessory, comment on the eye make up, notice the hair.  Pretty things maketh me happy.  Accessories and scarves and dresses and heels.  Lately I have been making some Chic (sic) plans!

I have fewer occasions for dressing up than I used to.  Not so many opportunities these days for going out, but when I need to get a little chic going on.  I enjoy it as much as the next girl!  It’s just a modified and snail-like approach to the whole thing.
I can barely contain myself, because this weekend, my hubster and I are heading off for a romantic escape. Squee!
At least, we hope it will be romantic!
I suspect there will be more than a little deep sleep and mutual pillow drooling.  I imagine we will indulge in a late breakfast in bed and we may even read the entire newspaper!!! Can you tell that I am a little bit excited about our adventure?

It’s all happening because my lovely sister in law, Lee, is here from Australia.  She’s offered to have the kids for the weekend. A thousand thank yous to you, Lee.  It is difficult to express just how special some time away with my man is going to be for me.  You see, given any chance to be ‘just us’ in our day to day life, his hand will sneak into mine and the years, the illness, the stresses of life melt away.  We are instantly back in the land of ‘us two’.  Our eyes might meet, wide with surprise.  Oh that’s right, it’s YOU!  And ME!  I remember US!  And those little moments are the things that keep our love kindled.  The knowledge that there will be an intermission at some point.  We will get a break, some time.  And when we do, like for this fabulous weekend, we’ll be coming back home in the truest sense of the word.

Back to us.


(I love this song. “Feels Like Home:”  I loved it first by Neil Diamond and I also love this version, by the  amazing English/Irish vocalist Edwina Hayes.  She has also collaborated with Dr Hook, though not on this song.  Be still my beating heart!)

NOTE TO SELF:
Do approach the experience with an open mind and a hopeful heart.
He’s your man, you’re his girl.  Hold his hand and let love do the rest.
Can you tell I am a little bit nervous?

 

How do you pace your preparations for an exciting event?  How far out from it, do you start getting ready?