I love how
you & me
‘What if I fall?
Oh, my darling,
what if you fly?’
When I was little, I would patiently lay in my bed at night, waiting for my mother to come & kiss me goodnight. Sometimes I had to wait for quite a while, as she sat with my brother or one of my sisters, talking about their day & the things they did or were planning to do. But I didn’t mind waiting. I would close my eyes & listen to the sound of her voice, the rhythm of their conversations. Even today, I remember clearly how the sound of it would fill me with the deepest sense of belonging.
When conversations were over, she would find her way to my bed & sit with me like she sat with them. Like she was never in a hurry, never had anything else to do, never eager to switch of our lights & start spending the sparse alone- time she had. She would listen, think along, we would laugh or cry, sometimes both. And always, at the end of it, she would lean over & she would kiss my forehead; sealing the day with a kiss.
Nine month she carried me through this world & since then, she carried me many many more. She might argue this, but I believe I owe her everything. For she is the one who gave & gives me space to discover, space to grow & more than anything, space to be. Not to be someone she wants me to be, not someone she had hoped to be, but merely space to be me.
Me; with all my oceans of not-knowing & my mountains of wondering. Me; with all my adolescence days of sadness & all my ‘grown-up’ days of searching. She gave me eyes to see this world, to be amazed & to be bewildered. She taught me to truly see, she gave me the will to understand & respect, gave me the intelligence to reconsider. She gave me my brother & my sisters. She gave me love & light & laughter. If it wasn’t for her, I would not appreciate everything for being something, wouldn’t know how to separate the bigger issues from the smaller ones & I would never have taken the time to shine a light on every possible version of myself. She was there & is there, every step on the way. A little further away these days, yet closer than ever, she sends me postcards full of conversation & provides me courage through the phone.
And in my mind, she still kisses my forehead each & every night. Sealing the day with a kiss. Making sure I may fall asleep, guarded by the luxury of her unconditional love.
There it is, in my news feed for the shortest while. Easy to miss, quickly overshadowed by more pressing headlines, more urgent business;
‘300 boat refugees died, after attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Italy. Forced aboard unequipped dinghies by human traffickers, left to the mercy of the merciless seas. Left to drown, perish or die of hypothermia.’
It happens time & time again. Year in, year out. Boats filled with desperate souls. Sinking ships, starving people, ruthless traffickers. I read the articles. I stare at the pictures. But I can never fully comprehend the desperation & the enormous tragedy of it all.
There it is. In my newsfeed. But then it isn’t. There is other news to report. There are matters of state, there are soccer matches to be covered, movies to come out. Three hundred anonymous lives. Three hundred people we never knew & who we will never know. Faceless, nameless, easily forgotten.
But there it is. In my mind. In my heart. In my soul. Because these faceless, nameless individuals, were three hundred babies once. Cradled in arms, kissed on foreheads, loved & look at. These three hundred souls had three hundred voices, three hundred minds & three hundred beating hearts. And now? Now they are all gone. Now they have become a news item. Moving across my computer screen. Easily missed. All too easily forgotten.
I can’t help feeling they deserve more. So much more than that.
So, here is to three hundred souls, three hundred hearts. Here is to three hundred of our own kind;
Drowning out at sea
My desperate voyage of death
is coming to an end.
With hope and land in sight
I must admit
I amount to nothing,
but a nameless, homeless number
Sailing unforgiving seas,
these sinking ships of hope,
it is my burden
to find demise
wherever I seek freedom
I don’t do it lightly,
but I will abandon ship,
for the captain is long gone,
throwing hands full of faith
from the deck into my eyes
on his long way down
my desperate voyage of death
is coming to an end,
as I surrender to
the wide skies above
and the wild seas below
Just the other day, as I took my all-time favourite novel down from the bookshelf to photograph the letter ‘E’, I realized just how happy it makes me to be photographing all these little treasures that make up the wonderful sum of all that I love. I stood, thinking how lucky I am that there is so much to love & cherish and how glad I am that I’m able to still truly understand the enormous value of these seemly unimportant things. That the beauty of words can still take my breath away, that the value of a moment is hardly ever lost on me & that I can stare at the sky, delighted by the mysterious calling of the buzzards hovering overhead. Glancing at the many colourful snapshots that decorate the wall above my bed, I see so many happy memories, so many days spend with those I love & I feel immensely grateful & relieved that I could capture all these moment so that they may last a lifetime.
I can recommend it, you see, this lovely ‘challenge’; take a moment during your busy day to consider all the things/moments/emotions that make your life just that little better, brighter & worthwhile. Both small & big things; that one cake you can’t resist, that sunlight creating perfect silhouettes on the wall or that favourite television series someone somewhere far away thought to create especially for you. Those momentous things that make your heart sing, your soul celebrate & your mind burst with delight. Write about it, photograph it or merely think about it for the briefest of moments. And you’ll see for yourself how this little Alphabet of Things to Love will turn little things into great things in just a blink of an eye….:)
Can you believe it? This year’s first month is over already, speeding by as months love to do. Which means the first few weeks of my project are behind me. I hope you all enjoyed the pictures & the writing so far. I certainly did, even though my ‘mornings’ theme turned out to be quite a challenge during a dark & rainy winter month. Most mornings the light was pretty poor & the weather was too bad to take the camera outside. But I made do & I guess I managed to bring the first few weeks of this project to a relatively good end.
In the meantime my sister has been working hard on her own crocheting project, producing an impressive stack of primula- flowers over the past few weeks. The pile of wool she started with is shrinking slowly, yet steadily & is turning into a multi-coloured collection of flowers. As you can see, on the pictures above, I’ve created a small collage of her hard work thus far, so none of you would have to miss out on all the beauty she’s creating…..
And last, but not least; February. A new month, a new theme. I know somewhere along the way I wrote that ‘Love’ was going to be my theme for February, but somewhere further up the road I figured that that wasn’t the most original idea in this Valentine month. That’s why I twisted the idea around a bit & decided to shoot ‘An Alphabet of Things to Love’ instead. Now there are a great many things that I love, far too many to fit into one single ABC. But just see it as the completely incomplete list of all the many things/people/ places which complete & compliment my life. My personal collection a small things of great value….
So, here we go…..An Alphabet of Things to Love