7.2.18 A poem in pictures. Skeleton leaf with viburnum flower heart. Back garden.
Some days, you have to spend long hours thinking up the right words to describe how you feel. Others days, all you need is to look in your garden and bring back what you find there.
5.2.18 Homesewn pyjama bottoms
Pyjamas is my favourite word. I like that you can't say it without sounding like you're purring a little and the way that the y and j look like two pyjamaed legs climbing out of bed.
They were the only right and proper choice for my first dressmaking project. I bought brushed cotton in a bright paisley print in honour of the word's roots - the Persian pāy-jāmeh (which means leg-garment) - and they are exactly as soft and as comfortable as you're imagining. They came out just right and I beamed as wide as my trouser legs when I finally finished them today.
Making them took time, my body finding the movement and up and down of measure and cut, press and hem more of a challenge than I'd expected, and I found it strangely moving to sew them.
My whole life, I've been wearing second-hand and shop-bought clothes almost exclusively made by other people: people I haven't seen and will never know. Watching my fingers carefully fold and press seams, guide stitches, I kept thinking of all the other hands that have worked on things I own, hands far quicker and more skillful than my own. I felt suddenly embarrassed never to have thought of them much, imagined them. I wondered what they thought about as they pushed fabric through machines and snipped threads. I wondered what they worried about.
It is a good thing to make your own clothes at least once, I think. Sometimes it is only by moving our bodies and our minds in different ways that we can fully remember the things that other people do for us and have done for us. By copying best we can, we get to join a different kind of dance for a while and there is something special in that, in the synchronised bend and reach and turn and focus, fumbling the steps until we can find the beat of it. Our muscles can feel it, that this is something bigger than us, older than us. That sense of being one of a tribe intensifies for a little while and you get a deeper sense of what we are, all of us together.
It is a humbling thing to make something slowly. Here's to much, much more of that.
4.2.18 Hydrangea, Mum's garden.
Today's photo is special because I didn't take it - my son did. I've been finding it particularly difficult to move this weekend so today, he decided to take charge of my camera on my behalf and push its nose into places I couldn't see.
Turns out there is something better than taking pictures: it's getting to see through the eyes of the person you love most of all.
Go, give cameras to the people you adore. See what they bring back of themselves to show you.
3.2.18 Rainy day in the garden
Today I sat with half a dozen half-formed thoughts on my lap and wondered what to do. They have climbed up there every time I have tried to rest this last week, like new children peering up at me, watching to see what I'll do next.
I'm a little lost at the moment. Very little is getting done. There is that tight, hot feeling that comes before change, when you know things can't stay the same for much longer. I don't know what it all means yet, I've just been alive long enough now to feel when the wheel starts to turn again. I have new lessons to learn, I think. New risks to take. And probably things to let go of too, because isn't that how it always goes?
I'm trying not to brace this time or to rush towards it in panic. I'm trying to remember that change doesn't always need to be dramatic or forced and you don't always need to try and claw it into an impressive story to tell. Whatever this is that's coming, I want to slip into it like walking into rain.
Maybe it isn't anything after all and I am just tired. Maybe it's simply the season turning that I feel and nothing to do with me at all.
In any case, I'm going to sit and wait right here, lap full, heart open. There's no rush, is there.
1.2.18 Drive home from swimming lessons
Too tired for thought. The moon could see I was in trouble and leapt to get home first, flickering in and out of the trees ahead of the car like a fat white fish.
Now she crouches in view of my bed, peering under the window frame where she stopped to wait for me. She is all mass now and I think I have never seen anything so still, so solid. Dark, bare feet planted firm on the sky, she sits back on those unmovable heels and beams with her whole face stretched taut, content to go nowhere. My round-faced Buddha. My shape-shifting godmother.
I let my eyes open and close and open again.
Still here, she grins. You sleep, child. Day's done.