Thursday, January 31, 2008

Where I am From ..... The Prologue

This post has been lurking in my brain and on the tips of my fingers for quite a little while now.

It has puzzled me.

I suppose, if I'm honest about it, the main difficulty for me, is the comparisons I am making between Molly's version of "Where I am From" and my own version. The light and the dark.

I don't have very many memories of my childhood. Probably, because I don't look back very often. But sometimes, when I do wander back, it makes me curious as to WHY some part of my brain has chosen to secrete the bulk of my childhood memories and why I am, still, allowing this to happen. Why am I choosing not to remember? Is it because I have the attention span of a goldfish and have actually retained very little from my younger years? Or do I actually have a choice in the matter? If it is the latter then, why am I choosing the easy option? Or is it the easy option?

Of course, if I am realistic and sensible about it all, I realise that, inevitably, our two lives and the memories that accompany those different paths, are inextricably bound up in our own, very individual, personalities and experiences and therefore, bound to be quite different.

That said, I do sometimes wish that one of my children would choose to further their education and mine by taking a course in Psychology.

What follows are the rather dark pickings from the recent archaeological dig.

Where I am From ......

I am from the white, iron bed with the horsehair mattress, the sucked woollen blanket and the interminable rocking of the unfathomable, tortured spirit in the small, front bedroom.

I am from ice on the insides of windows in winter, deep-red, summer roses and strawberries in the long, green garden. From cold, marble halls and mesmerising fires. From transient, pencilled masterpieces on 1950's fireplaces and fervent intonations of the Rosary on bended knees. From porridge-making rituals and greed-inducing butterfly buns. From fine bone china, good rooms and curious, black-clad creatures of God, who demanded kisses.

I am from the rhythmic sound of a push-mower, cats yowling, and self-imposed silence.

I am from creeper-clad walls, eternally occupied trees, tearaway horses masquerading as concrete dividers. From Goody's Lane, swampy fields, forbidden orchards and a broken-arm trophy. From envious gazing, over garden walls, through shining windows at newly acquired black and white televisions. From apprehension as a constant, daily companion.

I am from the salt of the earth and the animal healers, the strong women and the silent men. The duty-bound. The drinkers. The disappointed.
From Annie and Aidan, O'Rourkes and Walshes, Drakes and Shepherds.

I am from the disillusioned and the masters of under-carpet sweeping. From the kindly and hard working, from the happy and sad, from the optimists and the pessimists.

From birdies and fondies, doanie and yaya, goodie and bumbows.

I am from crucifixes and sacred hearts, novenas and litanies of the saints. Heaven and Hell. Purgatory and Limbo.

I am from the small, green island. Awash with holy men, scholars and hypocrites.
From rhubarb and custard, brown bread and tea, shepherd's pie and glasses of milk.

I am from the struggling angel who lost the battle to endure her torment.
I am from the handsome, big eared lover, who stole her heart and then was careless.

I am from mismatched, mixed-up mortals who loved to the best of their ability, sometimes overwhelmed by their journey. I am from the grateful place.

I am from a place of sunshine, with unspoken love and loyalty.

I am also from a dark place that caused pain.

From this dark and light place, I am who I am.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Best Laid Plans .....

There I was .. full of the joys of the new year, the start of the rest of my life, the beginning of great hopes and plans. My heart filled with optimism, my head doing flips and somersaults in anticipation of the opportunities that lay ahead, I made a very small list of my aspirations and dreams for 2008. Even putting words to the hopes was exciting! I had another week of indulgent, no-work days.... Bliss.

Then, as usual, life intervened.

I should really start at the beginning. Just before Christmas, 3 days to be exact, there was a major hiccup in the water supply to the Palace. Her Highness was not one bit amused. "No water!!" she shrieked and immediately had a fit of the vapours. We soothed and cajoled, made tea and offered half-lies as a means of preventing a major burnout. All to no avail. She fretted and moaned. She let fly about the council's lack of consideration for retired people until we were all fit to expire gracefully. She refused to understand that it was not the council's responsibility since the guilty pipe was on private property. We did our best to get a plumber - Irish plumbers are like gold dust, not a one to be had for love nor money. So, we hauled water til our bodies screamed in protest, we took the daily laundry loads, we trawled buckets up the stairs to the loo, we traipsed backwards and forwards from the most obliging neighbour's house, struggling under the weight of the overfull buckets - I now sport shoulders that Arnold Schwarzenegger would ogle with a degree of the "little green eye". Eventually, GB, aided and abetted by one of his brothers, dug a 2 foot drain, found the culprit pipe, installed a temporary, overground hose and all was acceptable and semi-civilised in the royal domain once again.

Christmas came and went. The Old Year skulked out the back door and the New Year flew in the front. Hope and optimism was alive and well. The visitors were plentiful and jovial, distractions too numerous to mention and all was right in the Kingdom.

And then she did "something" to her "bad" knee.

She doesn't know how it happened. But January 2 blew all hopes I had, of mending my blogging ways, of grasping back some sanity, of catching up with long neglected friends, right down the toilet.

For the past week, Her Highness, when not reclining in the royal boudoir, has been ensconced on her throne, immobile, with quavery voice to the fore, endless requests for needless tasks to be done, no visible improvement, querulously vocal to the saintly Larry and I am quite close to furthering my education by googling "hara -kiri". Strangely enough, GB sees none of this. When he returns from the nightly visit, he tells tale of how sprightly she was, scampering up the stairs to bed, cheerily bidding him "Goodnight!" No moaning, no quavery voice, no tears brimming - ready to fall - no "poor me" carry on. GB has a very low tolerance level for the "mi-adhs" of the world and I think Her Highness is quite aware of this fact. She knows what side her bread is buttered on.

But what kind of an eejit does that make me?


An 18 carat plumber is due early next week "to have a look" and hopefully come back later to perform miracles. The weather is due to settle over the weekend. Daughter no.2 has her driving test in the morning, the psychotic wonderdog has acquired some less than desirable live in tenants and GB has given up the dreaded weed.

Life is truly wonderful.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Horizons

I like January.

The new slate. The beginning. The anticipation.

The expectations.

The hopes, the dreams, the opportunities.

The looking forward.

May the joy of being alive fill your heart and soothe your spirit.

I wish you all serenity and contentment.