This isn't my usual kind of blog post. It's a piece of my creative writing. But it's about the sensuality of the body and being a woman and a mother. The first I am, the second I'm not, but that's where the creative part comes in... :-) Enjoy!
(Image courtesy of Hyatt Studios)
I watch as she shrugs on her coat. She looks distracted and I feel sorry for her. Because she can only look into my world as an outsider. Because there’s nothing she can do to change it. She can only drop in and out and try not to say what’s on her mind.
As the front door clicks shut behind her, I look out of the window at the light and sky and the space of a never-ending horizon draped behind the flats, Victorian semis, shops, factories and warehouses.
I shrug off my dressing gown and lie naked on the bed by the window, watching the curtain knot swing gently in the breeze. The sun splashes warm light across my legs.
I love the summer. Those months spent being cold and buried under layers of clothing are forgiven in just a few moments of blue, blue sky and the burning light that wakes my body and urges it into glorious contentment. It’s the time when I can lie in the park, my skirt hitched up around my thighs, the sun on my skin, and give myself up to the heat. It’s always a tantalisingly short-lived affair, but I’m never sorry.
As I lie in my small room, the moments pass, each a perfect repetition of the one before, until my child moves his head against my breast and I’m aware of his breathing again. I look down at his sleeping face, so peaceful. The next hour, the next day, the rest of my life has no place in this moment, or the one that seamlessly follows it, although, as the seconds float by, my future is beginning.
The big difference between now and then is that I seem to have lost that fretfulness, that violent urge to make memories. Taking life as I could wing it, my stories of places I’d been and drunk and laughed were told as I flew on the breeze
Coming to land on this bed, in this non-descript room, I’ve shed those wings. I’m waiting for the next to grow.
It’s true that many of my hopes and dreams have disappeared – I didn’t even get the chance to try them. I looked the other way at the crucial moment, turned my head distracted, and by the time I’d blinked the sun from my eyes, it was too late. Maybe someone else got to give them a go. Wonder if they worked out how I’d planned. Not that I’m sorry particularly. Bit wistful perhaps. But, you see, my world just changed shape. It’s got a lot smaller.
I stretch my head down, as far as I can, to kiss the strange little creature – my child – asleep on my chest. I brush my lips against a tickle of his hair, experimental hair, a bit mad, but soft as marabou. With his cheek pushed up against my breast, his mouth is pushed into a cupid’s pout. His eyelids are red – the colour of the birthmark splashed carelessly across the soft patch on the top of this head. He is so new, almost raw.
Pride fills my body and swells into the room and I swallow and blink against the prickling of tears behind my eyes. I imagine scooping him up – my child! – and shoving aside that bulging knot of curtain to show him to the world below, stopping people in their tracks, making them peer skywards, bewildered, as I shout "I’m up here – look, look! See what I’ve done! Isn’t he beautiful?"
But he's asleep and I don’t move, letting him rest against me – my son on my skin.