Thursday, 2 July 2009

Writing Through the Heat

We're in the middle of a heatwave! Funnily enough people seem to expect me to handle it well because of my South African roots, but after five years of living on this island, I've lost all ability to tolerate heat. In fact, the weather has brought home to me (as if I needed reminding) just how different life is once you're a mom.

Pre-baby life, heat like this would have meant, yes, perhaps a bit of grumping around at work wishing I was on Brighton beach instead - but my every spare moment would have been spent relaxing with friends or a book and allowing my body to go limp with sun pleasure. Now - well, it involves pushing some thirty pounds up a very steep hill at least once a day - except on the weekend when I 'hid' at home - sweating like a pig, and making sure that a small being completely dependent on me doesn't develop heat stroke.

Relaxing on the beach? Forget it. J wants to walk everywhere and is absolutely impervious to the blazing sunshine on his head. I'll be wilting while he stands quite happily throwing pebbles into the sea, or runs around chasing seagulls in the park. I seem to have been reduced to a bottom line of However, this weekend I'm looking forward to Hanover Day, the biggest street celebration in Brighton, and a good friend's birthday party in the park, all of which will allow me to include J in the summer social life.

I've decided to take the plunge and start posting poems on my blog. Here is one I wrote as part of my homework for the Mom's Writing Group I started a few weeks ago. It's called 'I write because':

I write because I am alive

I write to calm the inner fiery girl who wants it all,

now. I write because it’s the first thing I loved:

holding a pen, letting it drift over the page,

waking up these people who never existed


I write because I cannot draw.

I write to clear out the old

To make way for the new

I write because I don’t want to be a boring mom

and talk about hovering.

I write because my home is on the page

I write because the words were born in me,

no visceral experience can

replace the feeling of a word

cutting right through to my core

I write because I’m 29 and I don’t have time to play around anymore.

I write to sift through my pain and bring it into the light

and see that it gleams like crystal.

I write because I could never catch a ball

or ride a bike or kiss a boy or be wanted

when I was thirteen.

I write because I can reach your mind and know my own.

I write because it saves my life.

I write because I am alive.

And I write because acid trips are

not enough, sex is not enough,

a warm day on a blanket on the grass is

not enough. I am enough

in the moment I write.


Rin said...

Wow!!! Please post more poems, I loved this one (and I'm a total Philistine when it comes to poetry)

Loi said...

i also have to say wow! reading this made me tearful, it's so powerful a real statement about writing. i feel like printing it and posting it on my wall. xx

MorganMoon said...

Thanks to you both, it's lovely to know that a poem speaks to people. Maybe you could use it to spark your own versions...tell me why do YOU write?

Robin said...

Hello, this is Bella.
I love the way you wrote hovering instead of hoovering. If it wasn't intentional it was an inspired mistake. Even so, it perfectly sums up motherhood in word play.
I spend my life hovering around other people, peripheral to their childless, free lives or their child-distracted lives. Or I spend my life hovering over my children, waiting to perform tasks. I confess, I spend little time hoovering, but do obsess about cleaning and how people will judge me unfit as a woman/mother/adult because of the mess in my house.
Lovely, thought provoking poem x

MorganMoon said...

Thanks Bella ;) You're a star. I had written 'hovering' by mistake, then left it in because, as you say, it kind of makes sense. I too obsess about cleaning and not because it's truly important to ME, but because I'm supposed to be a Stay at Home mom, yet my house seldom looks as if I clean it (even if I have). As always, you are so eloquent!