Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A whisper is all I have

Today's post is whispered. To speak at all is a little too much, but I can just whisper.
Spring. It takes me like this sometimes. I go running into the sun, arms out, clothes off, singing and laughing... too much. Too sudden. My heart has been sheltered in her winter cloak of darkness and huddled safety for so long. This sharp exposure is a shock. My feet burn with each retreating footstep.

I tried to speak to you days ago. I sat for a long time. I typed a little. Every word boomed. Too loud. I wept. I stopped. I yearned for bed, to hide alone with a book for some hours. But it was teatime for my girl so we cuddled and swayed to Jeff Buckley until our Ent had made our food, then we read books and hung out until it was time for robot pajamas and milk and bed.

And the next day Ent worked in the morning. I could hibernate in the afternoon. But no. He had been up much of the night and needed, more than me, to be in his bed. Okay, I said. It's tough being a mum sometimes. Ickle Pickle and I were as gentle with each other as we know how, but she is so small. She needs laughter and bouncing and games and that electronic toy guitar I bought her in a truly selfless moment. She needs me to be out; open; full. I was emptying fast...

And then...Family Day. You may know this as Sunday. And I was posted back to bed, to forget 'together time', housework, planned outings; to rest, write, recoup my soul.

I scribbled in my journal for a while, until even that felt like work, then I read all of my bookclub book. More of that soon, but not now. I read for hour upon hour. I haven't read for that long for over a year and I had forgotten how it is to inhabit a written world without one ear open for a m'aidez. It was after 1:00 when I got up again, full of gratitude for my Ent and my life.

That would have been enough. I could have gone on strong from there. But the day after that was my birthday, so another day of revitalising non-work was spent with my little family. I was given splendid things, the best of which being an impressive holder for my harmonica (with room for a future second harmonica) commissioned by my Ent and made from Devon leather by our inspiring friend Tom Hirons

We spent the day by the soul-quenching sea on a forever beach just for us. Tourists crammed far away where they could see their cars and our half mile tramp/slide over immense sand dunes was richly rewarded. I danced in the sea, watched Ickle Pickle play with shells in a mob cap and lounged about in a thoroughly enjoyable manner. The sun, that tempter, blazed down, but I held true and moved slow.

So today I am a little sunburned, but I have an ocean memory to carry me when the impulse to run ahead of myself seizes me. Steps, is the way. Maybe skipping steps. And when it is really, really summer; then I can run across the green as far as the moor will take me, keeping step with myself all the while.

I have done this before; this rush and retreat. I guess I will do it again. But I am learning how to be still when I need to. I am learning that some days it is best to whisper.

Do you know this? Do you have whispering days too?


  1. Whisper Days...yes, I have those, and sometimes it is so hard to explain to others (especially little others, but big others too) that, though I still love them, I need to be by myself sometimes...to be quiet, to think, to daydream, and just to BE. Sometimes the world seems far too big and noisy and I just want to step away for a bit. I feel emptied out and need to refill the well.

    And happy birthday to you Lunar! Mine is next week, but I already have my wonderful present, also made in Devon out of beautiful soft leather!

  2. Happy birthday Christina. What a fecund place Devon is!
    Differing shades of love to you both x.

  3. Happy belated birthday. It sounds like you are being swaddled in love. No such whispering moments for me. In time. Just not now.

  4. So beautiful.

    The closest I get to a whisper is when I have time to write. It's not close enough.

    Happy Birthday, dear Lunar.

  5. Thank you, thank you, friends. You strengthen my voice.

  6. Oh, yes. I have days when the impetus to speak burns out somewhere between by belly and my throat and I can't bring myself to speak at all. It's a blessing because I talk too much anyway :)

    I was just remembering yesterday as I sang my son to sleep (he's 2.5 and weaning) that when my daughter was born I wanted to much to sing to her, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I didn't have the energy, or brevity for even a little lullabye.I think that whisper days are the same. On these days I try to take the kids out somewhere that they can run and I can be quiet.

    When I was a teenager I just wore headphones all the time. Whisper days no longer seemed weird to others. They just thought I was aloof, which was fine.

    Love to you,

  7. Ah, the sanctity of headphones, feeling trapped in the car with my family especially. Yes, that was great. And you've reminded me how little I used to justify myself - if I didn't want to talk, I just didn't. Then it was cool to be weird; now I try to pass for sane.
    So glad you can sing now. It's been a blessing for me, soothing time, trials and temper as well as soothing Ickle Pickle.


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