Sunday, 3 February 2013

Small Stones

Over January I've been doing the Mindful Writing Challenge organised by Writing Our Way Home. Each day I've been writing a Small Stone - a short piece of writing capturing a moment. The challenge has been to notice, as much as it has been too communicate. It has really been a challenge, to keep noticing at a time when I've been dealing with some difficult things, but it has allowed me to be 'in the moment' which has been just what I needed. Many thanks to Satyavani Fiona Robyn.

Here they are - just 30 of them, sadly!

Small Stones

Woodfiller turns from ochre to fired clay as I sand. Grit in eyes. Smooth under fingertips.

Rain slides down my dirty velux, pits on the grease, prisms the rooftops.

Light at Four O’clock. We rush to the kitchen window to watch the sunset. Realise it faces East.

Rabbit shit under my fingernails. Creature flicks an ear, tugs a blade of fresh hay with his teeth and snips it into little pieces.

Twelfth Night. I tug at the red ribbon to the Disco Ball. It falls on my head. I push back two mirror tiles onto the dimpled polystyrene sphere. There's silver dust on the mahogany piano. On my fingers. On the yellow cloth.

My friend's two daughters. One has curled around herself like a sea urchin. The other star-jumps.

A sound like tearing paper. A smell of old cabbage. Bunny fart!

A racket of birds hidden by bramble and bracken.

A skewed heart on a dirty white car, part erased by finger streaks.

Planing the gate, gorged with rain, buds on the overhanging tree brush my face.

Grey sky. Black tree skeletons. Ginger tom purring. A quartet plays late Mozart.

Flirting has done what chocolate could not do. What yoga could not do. What Bach could not do. I may sleep tonight.

Service station. Late. I’m the only person in Costa. Cellophane rustles and squeaks as shelves are stacked. Cardboard is torn. Cups clatter.

Air has formed contours within a frozen puddle. The man walking behind me breaks his step, swings out a leg and smashes it with his trainer.

Snow on the fields. The lake, black and white, moving and still. Aching thighs. Coffee. Christmas Cake in January.

A black cat slips through the bars in my gate, rolls onto his back, presses his weight into the concrete, stretches and twists, pawing at the air, then rights himself, runs to the soil and begins to dig….

Ice has striped the grass, clinging to the edges and the spine of each blade.

The kitchen floor is scattered with pink tulip petals and stamens - their two long pockets fat with pollen. I’ll sweep them later.

Snow on my black fur shoulder. Rain on the tarmac.

The shadow of each terrace is thrown onto the red brick end of the opposite terrace: the precise slope of the roof; two, four, three chimney pots, an aerial.

There are autumn leaves left - those on the pavement dry and torn, those in the gutter turning to mulch.

The pink jasmine, months from flowering, has a crop of bright green leaves. The winter jasmine, dark green waxy stems almost leafless, pushes out bright yellow flowers.

There’s a half full toilet roll stuffed in the pocket of my passenger door. Mum was here.

Raindrop glisten in the crook by the buds of the cherry tree, in the curls of the wrought iron gate, in the knot holes in the fence.

When it comes to getting your own way in crowded car parks, your Landrover Discovery is very big, very powerful and has bull bars, but my car is cheap. Really cheap.

A burger bun has been wrapped round the driver’s door handle of my neighbours silver Astra. The sesame seeds are pale, perfect and distributed uniformly.

A man walks down the street, shirt and jumper, no coat. Crocus leaves spear through damp soil.

She’s had the day off school, is wearing a pale blue onesie, with belly fleece of a paler blue and lilac cuffs. It’s Stitch, she tells me flipping down a cartoon hood, smiling through sapling brown hair and zigzag felt teeth, a smile that is not quite the smile of a child.

Thirty years later I meet Aspergillus fumigatus in the Hacienda apartment of an Arabian scientist. A blue grey fungus with a taste for lung flesh. An old friend.